The Gleaners 2019
This series of photographs engages with a small group of primitive skills practitioners who attend the annual buffalo (American bison) hunt on the perimeter of Yellowstone National Park in Montana. These individuals scavenge animal parts and other animal products typically left behind with most contemporary hunting techniques. After offering assistance to hunters by field dressing, skinning, quartering and carrying of buffalo to vehicles for transportation, any meat scraps left behind are canned or packaged, fat is rendered and placed in jars, hides are tanned and bones are used to make primitive tools and ornamental objects. These individuals see themselves as a neutral party to the often controversial polemic around the hunt and management of Yellowstone buffalo. They aim to honor the animals by making use of what would otherwise be left behind.
While the majority of nearly 1000 Yellowstone buffalo killed annually are corralled and shipped to slaughter by state and federal agencies,
GYMNOSOPHY: Our word gymnasium comes from a Greek noun meaning “place to be naked.” The adjective was gymnos, “naked.” In the early 20th century, the termgymnosophywas appropriated by several groups to denote a broad philosophy that promoted as an essential principle that the nude human body was a natural condition and should be normalized for the betterment of society.
In this series I comingle aesthetics and techniques associated with both journalism and formal portraiture to capture authentic, narrative images of naturists culture. My interest is in questioning historic references to “the nude,” challenging media paradigms of beauty, and engaging in the ongoing dialogue around body politics. I strongly believe that many of our cultural problems relating to sexual violence, misogyny, pedophilia, homophobia, and LGBTQ prejudices can be traced to a history of taboos relating to the corporeal. My aim is to diversify and normalize photographic representations of the nude.
Ants On the Mellon 2020
I’m curious about the narrative spaces between specificity and ambiguity. And, the way that something inexplicable, when captured on film, continues to resonate in us. These contemplative moments can shift us and become part of the narrative in which we imagine ourselves.
Much of my recent work involves a collaborative effort with my subjects to create portraits that vacillate between journalistic documentation and staged portrait. My interest lies in what they present to the camera, intentionally or subconsciously, and what the viewer takes away. I wonder what psychological depth the photographs might contain. For me, there’s something about their youth, their vulnerability, their potential, and what they really look like in that moment that presents a certain beauty, mystery, and wonder.
Note: The text above was written by the Artist. No modification was made by COCA.
Matthew Hamon is a freelance portrait photographer based in Montana. His photography exists conceptually and aesthetically in the spaces between photojournalism and staged editorial imagery. Matthew hails from a small, remote town in Northern California. A sense of place informed by wandering the woods as a child inspires his enquiry. Self-described as "post-rural," Matthew currently lives in Missoula, Montana near the Blackfoot River. Matt is a featured artist in Scott Ligon's, "Digital Art Revolution," ( Watson-Guptil/Random House). Matthew's work has been featured in CNN, The New York Times, Outside Magazine, The Independent -UK, Lens Culture, LifeFramer, 1 Million Photographers (1MP), 6Mois.fr, Stern.de, XL Semanal, Le Monde, morphyne.com, Edge of Humanity, Don't Take Pictures, Month of Photography, Los Angeles (MOPLA), PDN's Emerging Photographer, and Smith Journal. Matthew was a finalist for the 2016 edition of "Nera di Verzasca Award," winner of the Diaframmi Chiusi Photography