Matthew Cox is a Philadelphia- based artist who embraces and joins a variety of media to produce several thematic series of work. Medical x-rays and embroidery, couture and crime, rubber stamps, short -story prose and paint all layer toward a darkly comic and anachronistic impression of the human condition in the twenty-first century.
Redefinition motivates Matthes to create his embroidered x-rays. The stark clash of two such divergent materials, cloth and plastic, is the simple catalyst. One tactile and labor intensive, the other technical, and quickly a finished product. There’s a wide historical context, one ancient, decorative, and artisanal, the other contemporary and devoid of aesthetic intention. By simply placing one of these materials on top of the other the understood purpose of each is redefined. For him, stitching has a nurturing aspect and acts as care giving or healing to the injured, a socially feminine sort of action, while the x-ray itself can be considered masculine and unemotional. Finally, his own recognition of what is beautiful [these separately became appealing to him at about the same time]. As an artist who takes on tedious, labor-intensive projects, he is also reacting to the ever-increasing presence of photography in contemporary art – by introducing the process of labor over the quick, slickness of film.