MATTEW STONE: Art As Optimism

Matthew Stone is a multi-disciplinary artist, DJ and shaman living and working in London. Following his graduation from Camberwell Art School with BA (Hons) in Painting in 2004, Stone became a formative member of the South London !WOWOW! art collective, exhibiting in artist-led projects and throwing notorious art parties in disused buildings in South London. Stone’s work and thinking goes far beyond the remit of his art, and his power of existence is recreating the role of the artist in the 21st century. Stone’s whole being is geared toward a life lived as art.  Since 2004 he has developed a personal philosophy of Optimism, defining it as “the vital force that entangles itself with and then shapes the future.”

This timely position, as a method for avant-garde thought and art practice witch inverts the nihilistic cultural dialogues of the late twentieth century to create a necessary space for vibrant new ways of being, permeates all of his activities. Stone operates as an artist in a total sense: his very being, his community, his lifestyle and its expression dictate the creation of his interconnected works. As well as creating photography and sculpture he works in multiple worlds as curator, philosopher, performer, musician, facilitator and cultural provocateur.

He is anyway most known for his painfully beautiful photographic nudes and his photographic-sculptural hybrids that illustrate his thought literally. A collage of  limbs and interconnected consciousness, involving and depicting transcendental states, meditations and ecstatic dance, spin into contemporary motion. The body is shown and used to free the viewer from their own. Stone’s work revolves specifically around creative interactions and community, based on the idea that individual autonomy can be successfully combined with the power of collectivity.