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The Benefit
January 30, 2020

Benefit 2020 Auction Items: Lauren Lyons’ ‘Matt’

About the Author
Deborah Kostianovsky

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How do you know when your artwork is complete? Or when you have captured the lighting, composition, and subject matter of your photograph in just the right way, creating a powerful image that speaks volumes not just about the moment in which it was taken, but perhaps also hinting at a larger issue, an undocumented reality? How do you know when your piece of writing is polished enough, fully and articulately conveying your thoughts, and devoid of enough errors to be presentable to the world? My guess is that you just know. It’s intuition. It’s when all your thoughts and creative juices are able to explode (or more likely slowly, painfully seep) out of a confusing quagmire of silt, debris, and buried jewels, and coalesce like a chemical reaction of vinegar and baking soda.
Lauren Lyons’ photograph, entitled Matt, measuring 33.5 X 45 X 2, a large framed photograph/archival pigment print of Matt Sevier, seems to fit that bill. In her blogpost entitled “Missed Opportunities,” the artist talks about looking for a backdrop in 1997 Fishtown for this photo but missing an opportunity to photograph him alongside an old fashioned balloon cart which serendipitously passed by them on a quiet street (this was the missed opportunity, the perfectly aligned shot she states she missed). Then she describes searching for other photographic settings in an abandoned building when two police came by and tried to handcuff Matt for trespassing. They were able to plead innocence, garnishing a few smiling photos with the police, and then ran laughing across the street to take this photograph near an old Chevy. [1] She states: “I had him sit on the bumper. I looked through my viewfinder and it was familiar: I was experiencing it again- that one fleeting moment when everything aligned so perfectly- so I composed the shot, clicked the shutter, and right then I took one of my favorite photographs ever. And I knew it.” [2]
And this photograph is it: an intimate, sensitive, thoughtful portrait of Matt Sevier, an accomplished singer, songwriter, and guitarist who has shared the stage with legendary musicians including The Band, Booker T, Jackson Browne, Hootie and the Blowfish, among many others. A sense of playfulness and spirit comes through in his appearance in pajamas and derby hat. And you can hear his soulful, captivating voice at Jerry’s Bar on 129 W. Lauren Street in Philadelphia on Friday January 31. But first, come to the InLiquid Benefit! And make this alluring portrait of this talented Philadelphia musician your own.
[1] Lauren Lyons, “Missed Opportunity,” November 25, 2019
[2] Ibid.
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