He lives and work in Somerville, Massachusetts.
Matthew Swarts is among the selected lens-based artists that received a special mention in occasion of our issue #11 call for projects, with the series "The Alternatives".
Matthew Swarts uses photography as a departure point for creating images that also include overlays of appropriated web artifacts and other pieces of digitized information. In "The Alternatives" he presents intimate photographs made with a variety of camera devices that are meshed with very detailed, highly resolute "screens" created in Photoshop. The screens tend to bend and distort the visual accessibility and implied narrative of the underlying image(s), and are composed of scans of things like optical illusions and hybridized patterns from diverse pixel sources such as children's books, maps, computational modeling and mathematics. He wants his prints to push and pull the viewer – to hook the eye, so to speak, toward investigating further into the materiality of the object. At the macro level, the printed files are about figuration and even the sometimes clumsy objectification(s) of partnership. Microscopically, however, they are composed of more abstract and confounding bits of data. Swats is curious about perception (particularly of those people close to him) and how it is mutable over time with shifts in context and relationship.The Alternatives are questions about topics he can't easily answer. What is the magnetism and sometimes confusion of visual love and longing, and where does it come from in the mind? Who is this person that so strongly holds my attention and heart, and why? What remains if our precious data is lost?