On Art

Treasure (A View of My House from Above), by Matthew Whitney

Matthew Whitney recounts four brief, daily practices from a spiritual teacher of his: chant, meditation, simple work, and simple activities. One simple activity the multidisciplinary artist practices—and practices and practices—is walking. His walks in and around Seattle show up in his writing, in the spiritual direction podcast he hosts, and in his art. His recent series Writing in the Urban Grid explores visually the practice of walking. He writes that it combines “smartphone GPS tracking apps with traditional drawing mediums as a means of excavating how a line, understood as a point moving through space, can be a mark made on paper, a series of illuminated pixels, or a path made by walking.” Sometimes the distances he covers are street level. Sometimes the grid is the view from above, as with this painting, Treasure (A View of My House from Above). The practice of walking is one of seeing the daily, of inhabiting space in such a way that something new emerges: lines, connections, intersections, routes. “Treasure in heaven is to live life now!” writes Whitney.