Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hump Day Artist: Greely Myatt
This week's Hump Day Artist is Greely Myatt, a local Memphis artist.  Myatt works with almost every media: paint, light, wax, metal, wood.  The list goes on and on.  But his subject is always influenced and determined by his Southern upbringing and lifestyle.  It's hard to sum up his work, but I loved this quote by Leslie Lubbers, head of the Art Museum at the University of Memphis:

"Myatt's point of departure has meandered from the South to the suburbs, from the vernacular of the rural roadside to the domestic Americana of antique malls and Pottery Barn.  He has fashioned from found materials objects of homey resonance, including quilts, rag-rugs and cake stands, with Guston and Johns, Nancy and Sluggo and Myatt's grandmother peeking out from behind the conceptual curtains: their presence (and the artist's) betrayed by word balloon/clouds and other allusive devices." (

I think this sums up what Memphians love about Greely Myatt.  His work is incredibly aware of art history and current art goings-on, while still maintaining a sense of the South.  It's refreshing to see work that focuses on the South without relying on negative stereotypes or people-pleasing imagery.  Myatt's work is smart and Southern.  Yes, the two can exist together.

Myatt is the head of the Sculpture Department at the University of Memphis.

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