Demond Matsuo

Demond Matsuo

Artist Statement:

"The moment I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere, they are in each other all along."

—Jalal ad-Din Rumi

 

This poem is how I think of my work. I search the world through seas of papers and inspirations, trying to arrive at a conclusion, a synthesis. The collage serves as a treasure map of sorts, an alchemical illustration pulling you through to understanding my overall meaning. In love we succumb to the new self that arises from the other. This is how I want you to think of my work. To understand you must look closely. There I leave you hints to my thoughts.

 

To work is terrible. It throws itself over you and appears in strange places, but you must strive on. It has to come out of you. It is a beautiful curse of sorts even though it makes you act as a hermit. The work is important. I paint, but do I exist?

 

Demond’s work is born of the intense study of subjects in books. He has studied Japanese histories, African histories, Japanese gods, African gods, and mythologies of many cultures. He studied their textiles—the intricate embroidery of Japanese samurai hakama, geisha kimonos and African kente cloths. Demond has studied their poetry which helped him fill in where the mythologies left off. He has learned of heroes in the Tales of the Genji, the Tales of the Heike, the Mahabharata and all the myths, tales of the African god Oshun, the about the exploits of Ogun and Chango. "I found the best way to learn about other people was to study their mythologies; the qualities their heroes had are the qualities they aspired to as mortals."
 

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