September 7, 2015 | Posted in:Vellum News
Using a style which channels Memling, painter Matthew Grabelsky creates pictures which balance the world of fantasy and reality. He focuses mainly on subway riders in his native New York and if you live in the big apple can probably identify with his vision. The fantasy element comes into play mainly through a male character in animal face. This figure is usually coupled with an attractive vulnerable looking woman. It makes you wonder what’s going on in the artist’s mind but most likely the scenarios are supposed to be tongue and cheek. It plays on the claustrophobic feeling one gets when riding a crowded subway car. Those who commute encounter hundreds of people and most are faceless blurs. In his work, Grabelsky tries to bring attention to the different people living and commuting in this city of 8.5 million. Most we don’t notice wrapped up in our own thoughts and ideas. On the other hand, his skill level as a painter is easily apparent and why the Memling comparison is mentioned. He faithfully captures his subjects in a photorealistic way but leaves room for the paint to settle and appear obvious to the eye.