Installation view of "The Hoard", hand cut and folded cut paper cockroaches,
dimensions variable, 2015
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 imagination.
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