At first glance, Matt Duquette’s punk rock-inspired exhibition, Prepare for Landing, is merely a chaotic jumble of media. Paint splatters and coffee stains casually dot the pictures’ surfaces; a medley of newspaper clippings, Post-it notes, sketches and Google maps project past the canvases. Yet, upon closer inspection, the haunting images are far more social, illustrating precise moments in time with a gritty immediacy.
On display in Golden Belt’s ROOM 100 gallery, Prepare for Landing is an intricate collection of variant works. The exhibition lacks a concrete common theme, but the pieces consistently feature height, speed, birds and especially hands. One particularly jarring piece features a blurred, imprecise sketch of an outstretched wounded hand, all in black and white, with a sharp, solitary blood-red stain. Other paintings are marked by copper hues and faded backgrounds, exemplifying a similarly hazy tone. Many works encompass fantastical elements—one picture depicts a ladder stretching to a suspended bed situated in an almost ethereal manner, while another shows a meticulously drawn house resting in someone’s palm.
In all, Duquette’s collection is best described as layered, often displaying a fragmentation that makes for an overarching sense of ambivalence. Each piece is visually engaging, but only delving past the surface hints at a deeper psychological purpose.
Prepare for Landing runs through Nov. 15 at ROOM 100 in Building 3 of the Golden Belt complex at 807 East Main Street.