Matthew Dercole develops storylines stemming from the exploration of our relationships with ideas and imagery that are often overlooked, taken for granted, misunderstood, or sometimes disturbing. Within these stories, he approaches and investigates the dull, banal, and obvious aspects of everyday life with a new curiosity.
The exploration of the self, the understanding of others, and the dynamics they create are an underlying theme throughout Dercole’s work. Drawing from a fascination of biology, he creates forms based on principles of nature coupled with the experience of thought and feeling. The works become combinations of the natural progression of life, such as growth and decomposition, and the human aspects of reason and ability. The artist is reacting to the way people think and feel about their identities as well as how the act of learning and the responsibility of knowledge affect our everyday lives.
Dercole approaches his work from the point of view of a story. Thinking of stories and books and how they elicit imagery, he incorporates illustration by means of a narrative series of sculpture. He has been utilizing the written word in the form of short stories and experimenting with bookbinding to add the element of the narrative to the pieces. The sculptures are made with the idea of a more visual approach to storytelling, while the actual writings, or sometimes drawings, are there to complement the work as well as to give further insight.