Name: Matthew Placek
Born in Ohio, Matthew Placek relocated to New York City in 1997 to pursue his interests in photography, video, and installation. His commitment to capturing presence, whether as a sense of place, the passage of time, and/or the relationships between people, has led to his multimedia output. His practice is durational and also engaged with the archive. Of primary concern to Placek is negotiating uninterrupted concentration from both his viewers and subjects, which he does through expanding the formal and conceptual notions of portraiture. As our attention spans diminish due to the spatio-temporal dislocations of our era, the frenzied use of cell phones and social media, Placek is interested in cultivating a moment with the sitter that lasts longer than a glance and can generate immersive and resonant experiences. Matthew Placek has collaborated with notable contemporary artists such as Marina Abramović, Julian Schnabel, David Salle, Vanessa Beecroft, Richard Prince, Brice Marden, Cindy Sherman, James Ivory, and Yoko Ono. His individual and collaborative work has been exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Kitchen, Deitch Projects, Mary Boone Gallery, Galleria Lia Rumma, the Sundance Film Festival’s “New Frontier,” The Toronto International Film Festival, The Stockholm International Film Festival, The National Young Arts Foundation and the National Monument Fort Jay at Governors Island. Placek has been awarded grants from The National Young Arts Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. He has been in residence at The Pocantico Center at the Rockefeller estate and Marfa, Texas. He is currently supported by NYFA’s ARTSPIRE program.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?: Extremes are unrealistic to me, good or bad. I wouldn't want to be perfectly happy. We all need an opposition to better understand what we have and don't have.
Which living person do you most admire?: Michelle Obama
What is your greatest extravagance?: Grocery shopping at Eataly (Treat yourself don't cheat yourself!)
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?: Obedience
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?: "Awesome"
Which talent would you most like to have?: To be able to sing
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?: To be less critical of my achievements
What do you consider your greatest achievement?: To see my dreams to fruition.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?: Beyonce
Where would you most like to live?: New York City & the Catskills
What is your most treasured possession?: My Archive
What is your most marked characteristic?: People tend to comment on my eyes, their my mom's.
What do you most value in your friends?: Honesty.
Who are your favorite writers?: Tom Spanbauer, Federico Garcia Lorca, William Burroughs, David Wojnarowicz
Who is your hero of fiction?: Jessica Rabbit
Which historical figure do you most identify with?: Vaslav Njinsky
Who are your heroes in real life?: My Barista
What is your motto?: Everything is possible.