Born December 21st, 1990; Matthew Ryan Herget is a self-taught oil painter from Miami, FL.
From a very young age, Herget would spend hours upon hours filling up sketchbooks with his grandmother and talking about the mysteries of the universe. Things that would manifest themselves years later into a beautiful obsession with creating and exploring these very same questions.
After attending The University of Central Florida for two years, Herget opted to leave formal education to pursue his personal calling in life; to live as a contemporary explorer and use painting as the medium of reporting his findings.
Early Herget work is what he calls, "a constant collaboration between himself at all points in life." These earlier paintings consist of juxtapositions of visual metaphors that often represent overcoming personal fears and limitations — serious tones and playful imagery depict an artist who is simultaneously finding who his is without forgetting where he was.
Hip-Hop, nature, Native American culture, space travel, and the inter-workings of political and police tension in a big city were subjects that sparked Matthew's curiosity over the years, being a product of South Florida, and can be found in earlier paintings.
Perhaps most notable of this work was the Astronaut Paintings: A series of works first unveiled in 2015 with the solo show "There's No Place Like Now" with Mugello Gallery, in Los Angeles, CA. A year earlier, Herget packed up everything and road-tripped across the country to move to California. At the time, the astronaut was the only thing Matthew could think of. This cloaked figure that represented the ability to go places and do things people only dream of quickly became the metaphorical personal symbol for this new adventure. This emblem of "taking the leap-of-faith" quickly grew into the most widely collected body of work to date.
The evolution of his work mimics the evolution of his own self - a student of life, the mind, nature, and spirituality.
Recent work, like that of found in the newest solo show, “In Pursuit of Beautiful Truths” is a visual interpretation of self-discovery through experiences shared with some of the most important people in his life. These paintings are representative of his most recent chapter in better understanding the inner-connectivity of the world we find ourselves in. This pursuit has brought him to many unique places but none quite as fascinating and revealing as the journey within.
Each painting is of personal experiences and adventures of the soul. The paintings are derived from photographs of pivotal Revelatory Direct Experiences had on these journeys; experiences that become some of the most prized possessions for himself and the people he shares them with. Tools and techniques that have helped formulate these experiences include sensory deprivation, isolation, mental focus, breath-work, meditation, plant medicines, and wilderness exploration.
The paintings delve between magical figurative-expressionism and pure abstraction with a focus on impasto sculptural elements and instinctual playful mark-making — techniques that help capture the magic that lies in each moment. Dozens of paintings are often worked on at the same time and rotated throughout the studio allowing the many layers to dry over time. His painting style relies heavily on instinct, risk, and uncertainty. Things that are learned today may be dropped tomorrow in an effort to consistently keep oneself open to change and discovery. Herget's main focus is making the process a great adventure and allowing the paintings to evolve along that adventure how they please.
Matthew Ryan Herget currently works out of Los Angeles, CA.