Matt Leines doesn’t have the most elaborate bio. His website explains that he’s an artist from New Jersey currently living in Brooklyn—that’s it. It doesn’t shout about his already impressive roster of accolades or map out his course study as a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. But his work has shown steadily all over the world since 2002, and his latest show, Hyperbolic, opened last week at Brooklyn’s Beginnings gallery. Besides all that, his surrealist paintings continue to shock and awe.
A mishmash of imagery seemingly referencing everything from Picasso and Pollock to Ettore Sottsass and the Memphis Group design movement, his work is intricate, amusing, and deftly beautiful. Though his contemporary subjects are often abstract and vaguely human, he uses techniques like marbling to give texture and dimension. There are hints of tribal art and 1980s motifs, and every painting is telling a story you can’t quite comprehend. He infuses each of his pieces with color, movement, and a weird kind of whimsy that I find both arresting and uplifting. Thus, if you’re in the NYC area, check out his show in Greenpoint or visit his Etsy store for more, including the 2008 monograph, You Are Forgiven, which chronicles the bulk of his work.