Installation view of "Line of Sight" at White Space Gallery, 2012
Matt Haffner belongs to the generation of artists reared on Postmodernism’s return to representation, its mining of historical styles and alternative sources, and its deconstruction of expected meanings. ... His “pictures” are recognizable yet self-consciously fictitious, and compel the viewer to picture narratives beyond what they present.
Haffner pushes beyond the confines of early postmodernism to
embrace expressionist styles from the past, ancient cultural traditions
as well as pop culture sources. His narratives are fragments that compel
viewer participation. His characters are not gods or diviners, but
ordinary urban residents made extraordinary through Haffner’s
Diana McClintock - Art Papers
"Haffner has built his reputation for smart,
stylish work knee-deep in urban grit and cool. His series of
paintings, Used Fiction, is classic Haffner, crackling with the drama
and energy of cinema. In those ambiance-drenched works Haffner blends
lowbrow spray paint and high-end silver leaf to create works that
fluctuate between timeless and contemporary. Hipsters in skinny Sixties
ties cruise the city in retro sedans. Beautiful women brood, looking
forlorn and heartsick, like the heroines in a French New Wave film, the
air heavy with a sense of anxiety and broken-down romance. "
- Felicia Feaster - Creative Loafing
"Like the films that inspire the look and
sinister tone of his paintings, Haffner sets his works in the urban
underbelly. The shady types and down-and-outers who inhabit it are his
characters. His compositions suggest film stills, a moment in a
narrative that the viewer must imagine for himself.
His arresting public art works are even more ambiguous. He tears the characters from their setting as well as the plot, pasting huge photographic blow-ups of the figures on the city's facades."
- Catherine Fox - Atlanta Journal Constitution