"I was inspired by the way a car can steal the show. Think of iconic car chases in films—it's often about spectacle, and has little to do with advancing a narrative. And that's the way I think of these cars, as dead-end technologies, but also as high-performance machines which, for their audience, sought to reflect the spirit and attitudes of their time.”
In his iconic “flying cars” series, Porter presents images of vintage American cars, captured in gravity-defying scenes, as they careen over city streets and highway intersections. Using 1960’s and 1970’s muscle cars, Porter captures the aesthetics and romance of the car in American culture—each one is a character in the urban landscape, set hazardously aloft in cinematic hyperbole. Seen together, they form a topographic sequence of landscapes, mixing bittersweet nostalgia with the hyperreal. The result is a tension between what the eye sees and what the mind knows. Similar to Yves Klein’s Leap Into the Void, Porter’s flying cars offer a sense of freedom and risk, engaging the viewer in a pleasurable, willful suspension of disbelief.
Matthew Porter (b. 1975, State College, PA) received his BA from Bard College and his MFA from Bard-ICP. Recent solo exhibitions include The Sheen, The Shine at Galerie Xippas, Geneva; Sunclipse at Invisible-Exports, New York, and News from Nowhere at M+B, Los Angeles. His work has been included in the thematic exhibitions Auto Photo: de 1900 à nos jours at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contem- porain, Paris; Matter of Memory: Photography as Object in the Digital Age at the George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY; After Photoshop at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Perspectives at the International Center of Photography Museum, New York, among others. Porter is the co-editor of Blind Spot magazine Issue 45 and his writings and interviews have been featured in Triple Canopy, Blind Spot, Artforum and Canteen. The artist’s work is held in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio; and the UBS Art Collection, New York, among others. In 2015, MACK Books published his first monograph, Archipel- ago. His second book, The Heights, was published by Aperture in 2019. Matthew Porter lives and works in Brooklyn.