'Explosion Rock', Matt Davies

Painting of a dog with a multitude of graffiti tags written in red above

Oil, emulsion and gloss on canvas, 167.5 x 122cm, 2005

Artist's statement

Personal photographs, magazine cuttings and general observations form the basis of my work. Children’s drawings are also an influence, particularly the confidence of their mark making. The arrangement of images and colours are monitored through the painting process to create an overwhelming and characteristic perception that derives from past relationships and changes in lifestyle.

'Explosion Rock' amalgamates images gathered from various sources. The painting contains graffiti from around the Manchester area, mostly outside concert venues. I found the groups of text and images liberating and amusing. The text can vary from who is going out with who and website addresses to amusing phrases and writings drawn from popular culture. In conjunction with the warm colour palette and the loose painting style this vandalism aids in the construction of the main image (the drooling dog).

In the bottom left hand corner of the painting, the ‘Japanese Lucky Cat’ brings good luck and fortune. The cat is there to greet the viewer with happiness and prosperity.


Matt Davies was born in Manchester in 1979. He studied at Oldham College 1998-99 and Manchester Metropolitan University 1999-2002. Collaborated with artist David Hancock on Beautiful People series 2001 (UK venues). Exhibitions include solo shows Lowry Gallery Space The Lowry Salford 2003 and Why can’t everything be pretty? Irwell Valley Campus Salford 2006. Group shows at Lowry Hotel Salford 2005 and Manchester, so much to answer for Warsaw Projects Manchester 2006 during the British Art Show. He has also worked with the group ‘Nine Black Alps’ to produce cover artwork for several recordings.