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PRINT March 2020

PORTFOLIO: CHASON MATTHAMS

Chason Matthams, Untitled (3D, red), 2020, oil and acrylic on panel, 40 × 40".

BRAD PITT’S NOSE IS WEIRD. Its bulbous tip seems vaguely clitoral in Chason Matthams’s 2011 oil painting of the star. It also reminds me of a Cézanne apple, trying to unfurl itself in every direction against its two-dimensional prison. Pitt’s chapped, full lips are tightly pursed, and his sallow, putty-like face is veiled in a thin layer of grease. His irises are a cloudy blue. And it appears as though someone has dislocated his left eye by digging their grimy thumb into the squishy area beneath it, just above the zygomatic bone, forcing the orb to sink deeper into its socket. Pitt’s not exactly handsome in this portrayal, but he’s not exactly unhandsome, either. The portrait is off-putting but affecting—tender, even.

Matthams based his painting on a photo of a waxwork replica of Pitt. The artist believes the effigy, which he found through a Flickr account, might be languishing

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