Underground Film Journal

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KD Matheson: Boundless Tribesman

By Mike Everleth ⋅ February 1, 2010

Embedded above is a ten-minute documentary called KD Matheson: Boundless Tribesman, which is a profile of the artist KD Matheson. The quirky little film is directed by another artist named Vezun and it shows Matheson, who works in the mode of Fantastic Realism, producing a mural and several different paintings for the camera.

Personally, I like watching documentaries with artists at work, witnessing their process as it’s done in real time. To me, it’s a lot more interesting than listening to an artist talk about their work. I wasn’t familiar with Matheson before seeing this film, but I found watching him paint to be fascinating as he dreams up his fantastic vision and produces an image that has a real tactile feel, as if his warped figures and creatures have the solidity of a sculpture. Matheson actually does sculpture work, too, but we don’t see him create one of those in this film.

The documentary has a couple of odd flourishes itself, including camera pans to nowhere and bizarrely inserted random shots, like that of a hanging lamp, but I found that quirkiness to be kind of charming and complementary to the surreal quality to Matheson’s work. Different viewers may have a different opinion of that, though. My only criticism is the title cards that flash by so rapidly that they’re virtually unreadable.

If you’re interested in Matheson’s art, you can view a lot more of it on his official website. Vezun has an official site, too.