LOST AND FOUND: Matt Eich & Matt Slaby

Curated by Kate Donaldson

September 14 – October 27, 2012

CPAC is pleased to present concurrent exhibitions of Matt Slaby’s Last Good Kiss: A Lovesong to the American West and Matt Eich’s Sin and Salvation in Baptist Town.

The iconography of the American West is undeniably storied and plentiful, populated with legends and propagated by stereotypes. But there is a little myth left in the day to day. Matt Slaby is a photographer based in Denver, Colorado. Last Good Kiss romances the familiar, fusing modern realities with pastoral ideals.

A 4 hour assignment from AARP evolved into a multi year personal project for photographer Matt Eich. In Baptist Town – one of the oldest African-American neighborhoods in Greenwood, Mississippi – the legacies of racism and segregation have manifested in an ongoing struggle with poverty, drugs and gang violence. Matt Eich is based in Norfolk, Virginia. His series is an intimate and unguarded view of heartbreak and resilience.

These two bodies of work explore the generative properties of place, arguing that we are more than where we are from. At the same time they seem to suggest that senses of belonging – to a community or to an open road – will remain indelibly mapped just beneath the skin.

Matt Eich: Sin and Salvation in Baptist Town

Eich writes: “In a place like Baptist Town, Mississippi there are two paths you can take in life but the people I have encountered there tread the line between the two, walking both in the light and in shadow. They are neither good nor evil, they are simply human… While many of us would like to believe that we live in a post-racial society it is hard to imagine a place like Baptist Town without the South’s troubled history of segregation. In a city where 50.9% of the black residents live below the poverty line, my goal is to remind people that the real legacies of racism in the South continue to impact people economically and culturally, in persistent and often pernicious ways.”

Matt Eich is a freelance photographer and founding member of LUCEO Images. His clients include National Geographic, GQ, Esquire, Newsweek, Mother Jones, TIME, Harper’s, The FADER, Smithsonian, More, New York Magazine, Businessweek, US News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, Apple and others. Matt and his family are currently based in Norfolk, Virginia.

To see more of Matt Eich’s work visit http://www.matteichphoto.com

Matt Slaby: The Last Good Kiss: A Lovesong to the American West

Slaby writes: “…the west has always been a work in progress, an idea that has served to capture the imagination with the promise of things to come.

Viewed through this lens, the west is not really a place at all; it is a string of ideas connecting people to the place they live. Through these ideas, one is afforded the opportunity to capture the moments where myth meets reality. It is at this point that I believe one can see the intersection of the ephemeral idea of the West and the fantastic, improbable, and beautiful things that are born from it. Looked at from the this perspective, Hugo’s ‘last good kiss’ is not the sad memory of a lover departed, but the uplifting and familiar embrace of a living and lifelong partner whose last kiss has yet to come.”

Matt Slaby is a photographer based in Denver, Colorado and a founding member of LUCEO Images. He is “particularly passionate about making the unique and multidimensional culture of his home in the western United States accessible to a broader audience.” A selection of his clients includes U.S. News & World Report, Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian Magazine, Mother Jones, The Bureau of Land Management, Audubon Magazine, National Public Radio, Days Japan, The National Interagency Fire Center, The Department of Defense Military Health System, BD, Discovery Communications, and Human Rights Campaign.

To see more of Matt Slaby’s work visit http://luceoimages.com/photographers/matt-slaby/