Matthew Petrucci is an expressionist fine art painter.
He grew up in Bairnsdale, Victoria, and later moved to Melbourne, where he worked full time in education, and raised his family. He now lives and works (from his own studio) near the Mornington Peninsula.
A childhood fascination for drawing and colour, was sparked by his father’s many Picasso-like scribblings, on endless sheets of butcher’s paper. As fate would have it, full-time employment in Accounting and later Teaching, meant that a fine arts vocation was put on hold.
Matthew commenced ‘full-time’ painting, in 2011, after retiring from three decades in education. However, his formative art training began some years earlier, in 2005, with traditional tonalist painter, Fiona Bilbrough (a member of the Twenty Melbourne Painters Society), and impressionist landscape painter, John Bredl, in 2007. This followed a short stint with contemporary art tutor, Kerry Ann Sullivan, in 2013. Oil paint is his preferred medium.
In 2009, Matthew received his first major award for ‘Best Emerging Artist in show’ at the 2010 Yea Rotary Art Show, and in 2011, he was awarded third prize for ‘Best Artist’ (Bass Coast Art Award) at the San Remo & Phillip Island Art Show. In the same year, he was judged the winner of the ‘Bass Coast Acquisitive Art Exhibition’ prize. The winning painting is now part of the ‘Bass Coast Shire Council, Council Art Collection’. All Three awards were for his impressionist artwork.
Whilst Matthew’s initial art education began with traditional and impressionist influences, a restless desire to strike away from the well-worn painting formulas he was taught, and to do his ‘own thing’, beckoned. A trip to New York, in 2014, to see the works of the American Abstract expressionist painters and the paintings of the Bay Area Figurative movement artists (past and present), was an epiphanic episode that would profoundly change the way he viewed artwork.
It was the beginning of his new creative trajectory into figurative painting; culminating in the creation of his current series of work, broadly entitled ‘Private Thoughts’.
A love for painting the human figure and landscapes, lead to a marriage of the two, but within a contemporary context. Matthew’s current work dramatically depicts moody gestural figures, set against colourful non-representational backgrounds. He explores the morphology of the human figure to create a sense of longing and loneliness in his paintings. Loneliness in a good sense; as in solitude, or as in a need to transform oneself. His faceless figures, with their unhewn features, and brewing sense of drama and emotional intensity, seem to deepen their mystery and intrigue. The bold use of colour suggests varying emotional states and moods that contribute to his work’s overall perceptual experience. This basic design approach lends visual dynamics to Matthew’s, simple but profound compositions, setting up psychologically charged narratives. The figures could be perceived metaphorically as self-portraits of the artist and/or of the viewer!
In 2015, Matthew exhibited works from his ‘Private Thoughts’ series, for the first time, winning ‘Best Painting’ in his price category (St Kevin’s College Art Show), and a ‘Highly Commended’ at the Camberwell Art Show. In 2016, he was awarded ‘Best Contemporary Painting’ at the Bayside Art Show, and in 2017, received the ‘Best Contemporary Painting’ award, at the Grand Art Show (Berwick). He received the ‘Best Non-traditional Painting’ award, at the Camberwell Art Show, in 2018.
Showing all 7 artworks