Matt Hamon

Aspen Hammond

I am interested in capturing the space between truths and fictions, presumptions and questions. Much of my recent work involves a collaborative effort with my subjects to create portraits that vacillate between journalistic documentation and staged portrait. Such work represents a return the tradition and connoisseurship of photography from which I have often strayed. While at Bare Oaks, I would like to collaborate with other resident artists and naturists to create photographic portraits that are an amalgam of classical figure studies, intimate portraits, and documentary enquiry. The collaborative aspect with the subjects would be critical to such work. I plan to work with both young and old, various genders, to create intimate images of skin and wrinkles, light and shadow, gestures and gazes. 

I have always questioned the degree to which an image of a place can offer us a visceral experience of that place. I have been using studio lighting techniques to photograph people I meet along Montana waterways, capturing them under the reverent light and aesthetic of commercial photography. Admittedly, the images suffer from and embrace all the problems of exploitation and objectification from which photography has always suffered. As I focus on young, semi-inebriated figures who are most likely unaware of what they are giving away, my interest lies in what they present to the camera, intentionally or subconsciously, and what the viewer takes away. I wonder what psychological depth the photographs might contain. For me, there’s something about their youth, their vulnerability, their potential, and what they really look like in that moment that presents a certain beauty. 

Matt Hamon hails from a small, remote town in Northern California. A sense of place informed by wandering the woods as a child inspires his enquiry. Self-described as ‘postrural’*, Matt’s creative endeavors take many forms, as he is un-prejudiced in his choice of media, embracing anything from drawing and painting to photography and video. His work can involve a single medium or a combination of several disparate techniques. The technique that is adopted simply needs to be the best method to represent a particular idea. Hamon currently lives in Potomac, Montana near the Blackfoot River and teaches in the School of Art at the University of Montana in Missoula. He is a featured artist in Scott Ligon’s forthcoming book from Watson-Guptil/Random House, “Digital Art Revolution.”