Mattia Guarnera-MacCarthy

M attia Guarnera-MacCarthy is a contemporary painter born in South East London, UK, with both Italian and Ghanaian parentage.

“I feel my life experiences and adolescence were somewhat distinctive and unconventional. Being of mixed heritage meant that I had to figure out much of how I navigate through the world on my own. This caused me to feel both included and isolated, fitting in everywhere and nowhere with a lack of place to call home or peers who shared my same realities. I believe that these unique life experiences and my vastly diverse upbringing allowed me the privilege to see the world through a relatively nuanced lens, as well as my dyslexia and self-diagnosed ADHD, which have further emphasised my distinctive views, beliefs and ideas.

My personal practice aims to amalgamate all these factors to form new allegorical realms which use visual imagery to both embrace as well as challenge our conventional norms. My interest in sport stems partially from my own personal exploration of the human body, its physicality and the social dynamics surrounding it. During a period of life where I myself have been embarking on a variety of new physical practices, I see this theme as an exploration which blurs the boundaries between art and life.

My practice is predominantly inspired by the everyday world and the human condition. It addresses contemporary themes surrounding childhood, self, dreams, sporting and stardom through the medium of iconographic imagery. I portray this through my own personal lens as a 22 year old, Londoner, mixed- race, heterosexual male. All these particularities affect the final image, formulating an outcome which is introspective yet universal. The eerily familiar imagery plays with the notion of nostalgia, evoking a somewhat innate significance.

Expanding beyond words. Whilst it can be difficult to label, I perceive this aura to be an intrinsic ‘truth,’ manifested out of our collective human experience. In my most recent work, I have explored these concepts through the visual medium of sports and entertainment. I have done so by capturing snapshots of interesting interactions and highlight moments. Stripping away the greater spectacle of the sports and representing them through these mundane and often overlooked scenes.

Whilst what takes place within the image certainly has an intrinsic meaning, I also view the paintings to be somewhat allegorical and representational. Intentionally bringing the view to contemplate and direct their attention at these almost absurd moments of the human condition".

/* My personal practice aims to amalgamate all these factors to form new allegorical realms which use visual imagery to both embrace as well as challenge our conventional norms */