Born in 1982, Los Angeles, CA, US
Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, US
M.F.A., UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, US
B.F.A., Cooper Union, New York, NY, US
Calling his approach "a little bit messy and experimental," Matthew Brandt produces large-scale photographs through labor-intensive processes recalling the 19th-century origins of photography, often incorporating the physical matter of the subject itself. Attuned to the history of his medium — and its resolute physicality — and inspired by classical American landscape photographs, Brandt traverses the West, photographing and collecting material samples from nature and cities. The reciprocal relationships that Brandt creates between his subjects and the materials used to represent them are always conceptually grounded, often in response to social and environmental issues. He is deeply inquisitive, even fearless, in his exploration of subjects, materials, and processes, reinvigorating the medium of photography with a sense of wonder.
Through his work, Brandt poses a fundamental question about his magical-seeming medium: what is a photograph?