I recently had the great opportunity to visit Mathew Zefeldt's studio for the painting class he currently teaches. It was inspiring to see much of his undergraduate and graduate schoolwork because I often questioned the basis for his current work.
The "blobs" of oil paint seen in a few works were confusing when I seen them in person because I didn't know what to make of it. However my confusion was cleared when Mathew talked about being inspired by comics and their characters such as "the heap", which he said was a creature created from the surrounding environment. I definitely feel like the concept of appropriation is how Mathew goes about his artistic practice. He appropriates images of Greek/Roman stone heads, but places them in compositions that change the ways we think about them. Sure, he could probably have created these images in photoshop, but there is something about painting and seeing these large paintings in person that makes me appreciate his art that much more.
Another aspect I really enjoyed in Mathew Zefeldt's artist talk was his approach of delivering the talk. His quirky personality was definitely present when he started nerding out about his comic inspirations like the form the necroplasm, which he later explored in his work. It was also nice to hear about artists he is inspired by like Gerhard Richter, and how he was interested in how Richter's art can take many forms. In a way, Mathew is also still evolving as an artist as we've witnessed in the changes from his undergraduate work till his current work.