Artist: Matthew Chambers
Venue: Marinaro, New York
Exhibition Title: Crazy Horse West
Date: April 11 – May 12, 2019
Full gallery of images, press release, and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Marinaro, New York
To whom it may concern:
“Crazy Horse West” is the name of Cosmo Vitelli’s (played by Ben Gazzara) strip club in John Cassavetes’ film Killing of a Chinese Bookie. The film is an examination of Cassavetes’ feelings towards the pain, suffering, and consternation he felt enacting his creative vision; the Sisyphean effort required to materialize his voice. Within the film, Crazy Horse West is constantly at threat, Cosmo has problems—like we all do in Cassavetes’ eyes—he’s a gambler, but his risks are worth it. He’s fine leveraging the club and taking his lumps because he knows he’s willing to settle his debts for it. It is priority number one, and all because it’s a pure work of imagination. Cosmo does it all; he is everything to everyone at Crazy Horse West. The club may be sleazy but its not oriented around sex, it is exclusively a product of Cosmo’s theatrical vision. It’s not idealized sex appeal, or even idealized beauty, and never bows to its limited patrons’ expectations.
Much like Cosmo and by extension Cassavetes, I tend to look at my life and artistic practice inexplicably intertwined. My art and my exploration of self through art is priority number one and I’ve relocated to build my own metaphorical cabaret. It’s sleazy and clumsy and often too full of joy to be read as a “serious,” and yet I’m willing to take my lumps for it and for my creative freedom. I had a studio fire where I lost over 80 paintings followed by a tedious lawsuit, I had a flood when the snow melted last Spring that washed out the road to my house, and I got hit head on by a drunk driver at last December’s Art Basel Miami. All debts I had to settle to continue creatively, but this isn’t trauma to me; it’s the cost of doing business, the price of respecting my own curiosity. The pure life I’ve created for myself in rural Montana is worth it, I protect my own sense of purity and damn it, it’s worth it.
Hope you enjoy the work or at least understand that I do, even when I don’t.
Matthew Chambers was born in Boise, ID in 1982. Solo exhibitions include shows at UNTITLED, New York; Zabludowicz Collection, London; Rental, New York; Angstrom Gallery, Los Angeles; Praz-Delavallade, Los Angeles; Zach Feuer Gallery, New York and Feuer/Mesler, New York. He has been included in group exhibitions including the Saatchi Gallery, London; Hezi Cohen Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel; Marlborough, Madrid, Spain; Brand New Gallery, Milan, Italy; and The Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL. Chambers lives and works in Bozeman, MT.