Friday, September 6, 2013

New images and descriptions - Sept 2010

I thought I'd post a handful of newer images that have been on various sites and people may or may not have seen. I generally don't like to talk too much about my images, I rather that people like or don't like them for what they personally get from engaging with the image/s. I like that sometimes the title is enough to hint at what may or could be. I like that 10 different people viewing an image can come away with 25 or more different interpretations.  However, after a discussing a few images with a couple of different friends, who keep saying, I like it, but what is it.. and then upon talking about the image, my friends would often react with "woah, I liked it before, but love it so much more now...' I thought I would cheekily provided a comment or two about a few of my new images.

I came across a wall in a grotty door way, off a grotty lane. I have to say that It didn't stink, unlike most doorways I find myself in. Someone had stenciled the word 'dunce' in several places on the wall. I captured a couple of images and then found this one, where presumably someone else had covered the stencil, as if to hide it, I imagined that perhaps it was an act of shame, or perhaps an act of  frustration or defiance, stating "I am not stupid!' Perhaps they covered it up because the felt it inane?  I was initially going to title the piece "I am not!'.. but felt it might be too angry, so instead and because of what was hidden underneath the beautiful black line work I decided to call this piece:
                                                 'the hidden untruth

These next layers of graffiti on a wall, reminded me of wet grey and miserable winter afternoons, but in a melancholic and beautiful way. You know that feeling where the greyness of the outside world seems to evoke a sad greyness in ourselves. As I stood there, I suddenly found myself remembering rain running down windows and the washed out colour and life of wet winter afternoons. I tried writing out variations of the text in English but then realised that the German translation Winternachmittagen’, suited the piece perfectly, well for me anyway.:


These next two images are part of a group of photographs I took of the reflections of people. I really liked how the extension of their reflections created a sense of something else. Idea's of togetherness, separateness, connectedness and disconnectedness came to my mind when I saw these. I like how the reflections in the top photograph, despite being separate shadows, suggest a connectedness in the way they complimented one another:

                                                 'Reflections at NGV #113'

                                                                  'Reflections at NGV #94'

I stumbled across the below scene as I was running late to meet a friend, but I had to stop and take a photo. The pitted wall looked bullet riddled and the red 'dripping' dot lead me to wonder if the 'you' in  'you are here'  represented our ideals and beliefs. I wondered if in some way the frantic shifting pace of the modern world was at risk of whisking us up and off our feet and dragging us along in group thought, in doing so, executing our individualness. Suddenly our precious individual thoughts were being blindfolded, lined up and 'ready, aim...... fire!'. Now replaced with unthinking, unreflective and unquestioning  and group-think.
There are so many ways an image or scene can be imagined and interpreted and in fact this may simply be a cool image stating the obvious, that ' you are here'.

I had a late brunch/lunch with my brother and brother in-law. At lunch they joked about which television couple they were like and who was the 'boss' in their relationship... yes, one was Bert and one was Ernie.  Not long after this I took this photograph. I felt the two smaller circular images in the lower left of the image were these two in essence. Sometimes one holds the other up on their shoulders and sometimes it is the other way around.  The indistinguishableness about them both symbolises the equality between them. The larger image at the top of the photograph symbolizes our patriarchal fathers and what we learn from them/him about how we as men must act/behave. How we as men must be the 'boss' in the relationship and take control, using violence if necessary to force our partners to submit to our wills, because that is what is 'right' and what has been handed down from father to son for generations. In this image, as the father figure watches over and 'guides' then, they look out and away, reflecting upon the relevance of the past knowledge and understandings that have been handed down, in their new and modern world.

                                                          'Chris & Edo #105'

All photographs copyright matthew schiavello 2013


  1. I like the deep focus of 'the hidden untruth' .

  2. Matthew, something you succeed in doing well and which appeals to me in your work, is having a surface beauty and then a further content behind it. I feel alot of people mistake what art is by thinking it can be one of these things without the other.

    1. Thank;s gardener for your comments re' my works. I generally like people to create or construct their own meaning of my work. But for this post, felt the need to give a bit more than just the images. I love how our engagement with a piece of art, our mood/affect, our state of being and our past experiences and knowledge constructs a very personal and subjective meaning from the experience. I also love how sometimes we can just feel a certain way about a piece and not know why, or even be able to construct a meaning.

    2. Yes, Matthew, well-said. I like not being able to really define why I like something, or what it is about a work I feel drawn to. I like that art is, or should be, or can be beyond definition/prescription. I like being beguiled and I don't necessarily want to know why.

  3. I didn't know chris and edo were married. which country did they get married in?