For “Purple”, Matt Keegan presents at Meyer Riegger his inaugural project with the gallery and first solo presentation in Berlin. Image-language corollaries are found throughout this exhibition and highlight the slippery nature of finite reading.
Keegan’s mother, a first-generation Cuban-American and native Spanish speaker, was an English as a Second Language teacher for twenty-five years. During this time, she created her own flash card images used to teach high school and adult ed students. Keegan worked with his mother’s collection over the last five years, which recently led to his “Just My Size” series, in which the artist incorporates oil paintings of mass-produced flash cards used to teach ESL coursework.
These small paintings are then archivally adhered to the artist’s own clothing or clothing inspired by the ESL image. Although the flash cards present photographs that are open to interpretation, they are stand-ins for specific language and phrases found on their reverse side. Over the last two years, Keegan has been making shaped sculptures that begin as cut- paper forms, and are laser cut & folded in steel to replicate their original paper templates. These iconic steel works function like Rorschach forms that prompt reading and naming.