Matthew Morrocco: ORCHID.seasons - winter

December 14 - 22, 2018

Crush Curatorial is pleased to announce ORCHID.seasons - winter, the second iteration of a four-part seasonal project by Matthew Morrocco.

In this series of self-portraits, the artist’s full body suit has turned from orange (fall) to a cold blue. In the suit, the artist becomes an abstract subject, the faceless character called Orchid. The figure traverses mountains and frolics in snow and ice. The resulting images provide a potential antidote to the problematic issue of privacy and expectation that an artists’ biography is available for public consumption--the idea that the artist, rather than the art, is the product for sale. The subject of the work becomes its formal elements--the colors and composition, the seasonal landscapes--rather than the artist himself, granting a newfound freedom of self-expression.

In an age of big data and social media, our private information is mined, used, and sold to feed us fabricated information and new products we don’t need. The product has become people themselves whose data is mined, collected, and re-sold back to them. To reflect this idea, the show is accompanied by an augmented reality that allows users to curate virtual iterations of the photographs in their own homes. The app draws a parallel to IKEA’s sales app, which allows users to preview furniture in their own space. In this way, Morrocco’s creates a dialogue between himself and a potential commercial market. In this app, however, it is Morrocco himself, hidden beneath the abstract Orchid figure, that is the product.

For Morrocco, his suit is a coping mechanism, a cloak of invisibility, which grants access to experiences beyond the confines of personal identity. Like the eponymous crypto-currency--Orchid--that the exhibition is named after, the suit grants the artist access to the world, but maintains his anonymity, placing a barrier between his person and his objectified presence. Set against bright yet brittle winter landscapes, the Winter iteration of this show presents a figure rapturously exploring the joy of solitude in the landscape.

ORCHID.seasons is comprised of a unique schedule of four 10-day exhibitions that coincide with the seasonal changes. Destabilizing temporal expectations, Morrocco and Crush Curatorial play with codified methods of presentation and set their own rhythm for showcasing this body of work. Additionally, each “season” of the show has an online component accessible via Instagram, @crushcuratorial, and @matthew_morrocco, as well as the augmented reality

Each of the four exhibitions occurs around the solstice and equinox, Fall, Winter, and Spring, with a final retrospective of the project at Crush’s Amagansett space in the Summer of 2019. Viewer participation is encouraged.

Matthew Morrocco received a BA in Critical Theory and Photography from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in 2012 and an MFA in Visual Art from Columbia University in 2015. His work has received grant support from the New York Foundation of the Arts, a blade of grass, NYU, and Columbia University. Recent exhibitions include Medium of Desire at the Leslie Lohman Museum, NY, Complicit at NYU’s Gallatin Gallery, NY, and Orchid: RGB, at Pioneer Works, NY. His book, Complicit, was published in September 2018 with Matte Editions. More information is accessible via his website.

Crush Curatorial is an artist-run gallery founded by Karen Hesse Flatow in 2016. Flatow collaborates with artists and curators to execute projects outside the traditional gallery structure within the context of her studio practice. Flatow received her MBA and MFA from Columbia University and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Curatorial focus is on collaborative projects and emerging artists, creating events and experiences that engage the artistic community, viewers and makers.