Discover the inner workings of the Toronto art community on this behind-the-scenes tour of Steve Driscoll’s west-end studio.
Join Steve Driscoll and local painter Matt Bahen in their working environment to learn more about their creative processes.
This discussion is part of the Know Your Options Series.
This studio tour and discussion took place live at Driscoll Studio in Toronto.
Matt Bahen’s work explores the delicate balance between forces of loss and renewal. Bahen takes inspiration from both his native landscape of rural Ontario as well as literature, particularly the writings of Cormac McCarthy. In all of Bahen’s paintings, there is an arresting tension created by the absence of human figures while still alluding to their presence. This void forms a space for the viewer to enter and participate in Bahen’s dark yet poetic narrative.
Bahen’s impressive painting process has evolved over many years. Bahen treats the entire surface of his canvases with thick, rhythmic brushstrokes that accentuate the tension and emotion in his subjects.
Bahen lives and works in Toronto. He has exhibited in Canada and the United States. In 2013, a solo exhibition of Bahen’s work was held at the MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie, Ontario.
I want to evoke that feeling of the wind blowing against you, of being excited, exalted in the presence of natural power.
Although the scene is imagined that resulting emotion of being confronted by a mounting storm, a change in light, something so much larger than oneself, that is something I am drawing from experience and am looking to recreate in this work.
Process in my work is very important. I use something akin to an alchemy to create the pieces. Mixing binders, pigments, and thinners at carefully determined times I attempt to achieve marks and gestures which recreate marks found in nature rather than reproduce them.
My work speaks to the theme of nature and our internal visceral reactions to it.