CONFINEMENTS: Matt Scobey
By Sybaris Collection
For about 10 years, Matt Scobey belonged to the Denver art scene. For the American artist, art can be found anywhere: an art gallery, a living room, or the street. His website is a window to find links between design and art. The Remnant Suite piece perhaps synthesizes everything: “Collected scrap Marble from various contractors. When people have custom countertops/surfaces designed for home or business it often results in odd size cutofffs that are too small for resale and are either thrown away or recycled. After collecting the Marble I came up with a dimension/measurement that would utilize as much material as possible and hired a local stone cutter to cut each piece down to size. This resulted in enough material for the creation of 6 stacking sculptures/objects. I then had acrylic cut to scale and drilled holes in each piece of Marble in order to embed neodymium magnets that serve to hold the various pieces of material in place.”
For Ray Mark Rinaldi, from The Denver Post,“Scobey, who often uses objects such as discarded water bottles and pill jars, and deflated basketballs as molds, connects his work to some of the great movements and moments of modern culture, Marcel Duchamp’s “Readymades,” which turned found objects into art, and El Lissitzky’s overlap of art and architecture.”
Matt Scobey joins the Sybaris Collection Confinement Series, presenting the performance Num. 3 in which the artist set up an outdoor instlation in Marfa Texas.
Performance Num. 3, ” Confinements by Matt Scobey”
Most of the material I’ve been working with has been initially used for other projects or things I had around the studio before quarantine. Wood I use as form were previously used for pedestals. Cast Acrylic was bought as scrap for a discounted rate from a supplier I’ve worked with for years. The concrete had mostly been purchased prior to covid as well.
I spend a lot of time at home with my cat. I take drives on quiet farm roads and visit a nearby state park. I am surrounded by land and horizon. I had been putting off making these works in concrete before covid because I had been working everyday(3 jobs) and it takes a lot of energy to mix the concrete by hand.
Time passes strangely now. I am always aware of where the sun is in the sky. Any type of commitment seems overwhelming.
Prickly Pear, Ocotillo, Cholla, and ‘Horse Crippler’ are all in bloom. Yucca and Agave too.
A lot of businesses here have decided to stay closed even though stay at home orders have been lifted. Over the weekend the first local confirmed case was announced. The National Guard has come 2-3 weekends to do tests but only a very small percentage of residents have been tested. Our closest hospital is 25 miles away and has around 20 beds.
The last time we met was at a cafe near Parque Mexíco. I had been in CDMX for a few weeks and we made plans to try to meet in Paris as we were both headed that way soon. I assume everyone is having a different experience of this moment but it’s hard for me to imagine. The population of Marfa is 2,000 people and CDMX is over 25,000,000. I look forward to returning, maybe making a project or some artwork during my next visit. I find it to be a very beautiful and inspiring place.
Right now there are more birds, lizards, snakes, javelinas, and at least one cat seeing my work than people. That’s ok with me. I’m sure it will change in the months ahead.
I think about energy often. We cannot really create or destroy it. We do however absorb and transform energy. Probably in ways we cannot speak about or maybe don’t understand.
This work is always changing depending on the works location in relation to a ray of light and the viewers location in relation to the work at a specific time. I don’t consider the work to be ‘outdoor art’ but I do want it to always be in a space that receives good natural light throughout the day.
This site is an undeveloped lot on the North East edge of Marfa, Texas. A good friend bought it a few years ago and after we had a conversation about how I had become interested in finding ways to exhibit work outside the traditional gallery/museum context she offered to let me use the lot as a studio/exhibition space and invite guests out to view work there. Concrete Suite is the third body of work I have exhibited at the site. I placed the final work in this series Sunday May 24, 2020.