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April 4, 2014

Artist Matthew Palmo comes to NT

Tonawanda News — “I have no idea what I’m doing.”

That’s how artist Matthew Palmo says he approaches each blank canvas, with a clean slate and boundless possibilities. Sometimes he just starts painting. He says that often he thinks he’s painting one thing, but then it turns out to be something totally different. 

Sometimes his 3-year-old son helps him paint in the beginning, until an idea begins to take shape. The end result is something that Palmo refers to as “organized chaos,” a wild, yet cohesive, array of colors and shapes that simply begs the imagination to go to work.

“Salvador Dali said, ‘just because I don’t know the meaning of my art, does not mean it has no meaning,’” Palmo said, applying the famed surrealist painter’s theory to the description of his own work. “Each piece does tend to have a contrast between good and bad or between the tragedy and beauty of human nature.”

Palmo, who is entirely self-taught, says he spent the first seven or eight years of his art career just “mixing colors and doing very abstract paintings.” Eventually, he says, his art took on more structure and form and recognizable figures began to appear.

His latest collection, entitled “IndicatorArt,” will be on display at Project 308 Gallery, located at 308 Oliver St., North Tonawanda through the month of April. This will be the first time Palmo has shown his art in the Tonawandas. 

“I’m really excited to have his work here,” said gallery owner Natalie Brown, who describes Palmo’s work as “vivid colorful paintings of various subjects with a surreal feel to them and usually involving a landscape.” 

Having opened about a year and a half ago, the Oliver Street gallery has become a something of a hidden treasure in the local art world. Brown says that she usually has a new exhibit every month, but rents her space to artists on a weekly basis. 

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