Untitled (Women) (2011) presents a startlingly succinct history of violently romanticized femininity. Matt Lipps created this diptych by photographing a single arrangement of cutouts. As in his analogous portrait of men, the middle section appears twice, on either side of the split, signaling a stutter, a caesura, or a schizophrenic break. Within the cluster, fashion photography exists alongside frescoes, and demure piety butts up against unabashed sexuality. The women are bound not only by a fuchsia floodlight but also by a shared history.
In the series Horizons (2010), Lipps uses appropriation to riff on Modernism’s fascination with abstract form. For Untitled (Men) (2011), he snipped from magazines and textbooks pictures of handsome or famous men, from the ancient Greek to the modern. Arranged in a tableau, lit theatrically, and rephotographed, the two-dimensional figures have an embodied presence.
Matt Lipps is a photographer whose strategies extend to include sculpture and installation. In his series Home (2008), jagged rocks and threatening ice floes impinge upon life-size domestic interiors. In a body of work entitled ‘70s (2004-2006), Lipps rephotographed 1970s male pornography, carefully lifting the models from their magazine pages, backing them with cardboard, and repositioning them amid contemporary, stage-lit bedspreads. Cropped elbows, toes, knees, and legs signal the switch in time and space, in a gesture of humorous transparency characteristic of his work.