Matt Cipov's Creatures of the Deep at 323East now through Feb. 23rd
There's Animal Planet and then there's Matt Cipov's menagerie, a visual world that lies somewhere between the theories of crypto-zoology and a pet shop run by Forrest J. Ackerman.
Cipov is that rarity in the art world - a talented man with a very talented brush who is obviously and unabashedly having a great deal of fun with his work. The sweet little creatures on matchbooks? Remember them? The ones we were invited to draw and mail back to some "academy" inside a PO Box? Something almost prompts the belief that these are those same biological entities after a brief spell in an experimental lab. Weirdness - wonderful weirdness!
Cipov's own curriculum vitae mentions no matchbooks, but he obviously learned a thing or two at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (interesting side note: they make beer in Milwaukee too ...) He toiled in the commercial field until deciding in 2005 that an independent (albeit precarious) career as an artist/designer would be more fulfilling. The results? A flood of whimsical and fantastic creations that redefine the phrase "where the wild things are."
We got to chat with Matt and, wowed by his charisma and work, picked up a couple of prints ourselves. Now through February 23rd you can check out Cipov's Creatures of the Deep exhibition at 323East in Royal Oak.