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Artists on the Verge of a Breakthrough

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Sepulcher (2004), by Matthew Day Jackson, courtesy of Bill Orcutt  

Matthew Day Jackson
Sculptor
Inspired by Russian Constructivism, Jackson is a different kind of Young Pioneer: a sculptor who repurposes frontier symbols for political aims. The Rutgers grad had one grandfather who was a cop and another in the Marines; his background filters into projects like Tomb of the Unknown, based on a tank barrier and made of the wooden particleboard found in prefab homes. “It’s about the people going to war being cast aside,” he says. His contribution to “Greater New York” is Sepulcher, a commanding sculpture based on a Viking burial ship; for the sail, he stitched his own punk-rock T-shirts into the form of a Mondrian painting. Jackson calls it “a monument to my own death at the age of 30.” Considering that he’s already landed a solo gallery show during the boom fall season—in November, at Perry Rubenstein— we’d say it’s more of a rebirth.


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