Matt Volpe is a full-time painter in South Philadelphia’s Italian Market neighborhood. A ‘round the clock’, prolific-type painter. A painter from head to sole, compelled to be an instrument for his work. The kind of work you’ll see in a thickly bound coffee table book in the next decade. So get close while you can.
Step in and saddle up. It’s Basquiat-meets-comic-book-stares-in-a-swirl-of-urban-drama—topped with a pinch of pathos. Take a sip, then take another. Volpe’s secret recipe will not be replicated.
Breaking apart each ingredient; high impasto layers offer stoke after stroke of sardonic commentary. Drink up. We’re trapped in the gaze, invited into a web of lustfully rich imagery held together by mixed type and pointed text. Each line scrawled and word underscores each individual character, they claw like refugees to the paint surface and toward the crowded borders. This density adds a precise and deliberate tension, holding each piece together. Like a baby swaddled, drunk from a womb-life of primordial dreaming. Or the man in the café, sipping Absinthe late into the night.