Interview with Matt Cauthron

On Friday, September 24th, 2021, Matt Cauthron will be presenting a show called ‘Imperfection’ at CREATE Center for the Arts. Before the show begins, we wanted to find out more about Matt, the exhibition, and the inspiration behind it all.

 

CA Desert Arts (CDAC): Tell us about you. How long have you been an artist? What is your job when you’re not making art?

Cauthron: I’ve been living in the Coachella Valley now for 20+ years working to build the Digital Arts Technology Academy at Cathedral City High School.

I’ve been producing work my whole life, showing mostly photographs here and there. This past year has reminded me that life is short and that I needed to focus more on my creative (and physical) health. With this in mind, I just jumped right back to my personal work utilizing images captured in the desert region and found materials I had really been saving for this opportunity to return to studio work.

 

CDAC: You’re a Digital Arts teacher by day – was your show created through the digital arts? If so, how?

Cauthron: After working digitally all this time, this work really is a return to the physical manipulation of shapes, materials, and prints. The photographs in the show are mostly captured digital, but there are a few that I made years ago in the darkroom.

 

CDAC: Your show is called Imperfection. Why did you choose to focus on Imperfection? How will Imperfection show up in your show?

Cauthron: Imperfection is really the acceptance of how I feel about the process of creating this year so far. Sometimes no matter how hard I try to keep things “aligned,” things are often just what they become… imperfect. By allowing this to happen, its kind of free and keeps the creative ideas open and flexible. I also feel that the overall desert’esq imagery I’m drawn to conveys a vibe that I like to refer to as #DesertFunky. Its kind of the “other” side of the desert lifestyle.

 

CDAC: Who are some of the artists and photographers you look to for inspiration?

Cauthron: There are almost too many these days due to social media, but those who still resonate with me are Rauschenburg, Johns, the Starn twins, Jerry Uellsmann and Maggie Taylor.

When I was getting my undergrad at UC Santa Cruz, I was fortunate to work with Norman Locks who lead the Ansel Adams workshops in Yosemite Valley. It was great hearing his stories of Ansel in the darkroom, but I knew I could never get to that level that Adams’ printed at. I guess I still strive to make a good landscape photograph, but also think about how I can take an image from the field and manipulate it my own way.

 

CDAC: Tell us how people can RSVP to your reception. Is there a cost to attend?

Cauthron: The show is free of course and up at the Create Center through Oct. 9th and the reception is Friday, Sept. 24th from 6-8pm. You can grab an invitation at www.mcauthron.art or come on by the gallery.

 

CDAC: What else would you like us to know about the show and/or about you as an artist?

Cauthron: The show is also up to bring attention to the new community darkroom space at the Create Center and I’d like to thank Deborah Mumm and her staff for allowing me an opportunity to get some work back out there.