Fall 2020, Volume 29

From the Art Editor

I infer we have Matthew Morpheus’s visual art today because he was born with an unusual, and unusually heightened, involuntary awareness of minutia. Reading between the lines of his Verdad submission and his English language website, mrmatthewmorpheus.crevado.com, it seems he’s burdened or blessed to notice everything. Lacking a filter comes with a pressure to respond, and anxiety aplenty. Yet he feels better by relentlessly organizing the cascade of input. If you will, he finds himself Earth’s ambassador to the universe as well as to every corner of our world. His commission to make the foreign familiar. All of it, to everyone.

He has written a philosophy book (I’ve not had a copy to review) and I’m not sure how much that helped him, but an abstract of its thesis uses nearly identical language to his (visual) artist’s statement. I think an example of relating “microcosm to macrocosm” occurs for him when he metaphorically tries to reconcile the plurality of a fractious global community by using as many media as come to mind. It’s art when he discovers a way to harmonize these different languages and get them to speak together. There is an unrepentant will to sell on his site which seems either youthful exuberance or another expression of his inborn zeal. If he can sell enough, please!, then he can get back to work.

One here recalls an ecstatic Mozart in the movie, Amadeus, explaining to court philistines how, in opera, any number of different people can speak their minds simultaneously and create beauty, harmony, from chaos. I kind of feel Matthew’s still searching for his favorite form.

I propose the majority of visual artists create work either from a deep and enduring relationship with their materials, or because they experience themselves as a source of urgent need to express so that, once they stumble upon the good enough paint or clay or whatever, they are “home.” We share Matthew’s work and story with Verdad readers today because I appreciate the mission he’s on and offer you all a chance to meet him and follow him as he plumbs the depth of what art might do for all of us, in all its many forms.

                                                                                                                                     —Jack Miller