Combining video, animation and the supple movement of herself, Miwa Matreyek is an LA based animator, director, designer and performer who has presented work in MOMA and TEDGlobal. She interacts with her animations as a shadow silhouette, at the cross section of cinematic and theatrical, fanatical and tangible, illusionistic and physical. Miwa is also part of the Cloud Eye Control collective. She's leading a fresh path of inspiration for us.
Work by Miwa Matreyek:
Image credits (L-R): 1. Gia Goodrich, 3. Eugene Ahn, 2&4 courtesy of Miwa.
I’ve been admiring Andy’s work for a number of years. I love the kinds of transformations he is able to achieve in his work, often a beautiful mix of fantastical, primal, visceral, and playful. Much of his work connects to something surreal but earthy, from Bjork embodying the spirit of a sputtering and exploding volcano in Mutual Core, to Thom Yorke shifting and crumbling in a desert of undulating sand dunes in Before Your Very Eyes. I love that he makes the viewer viscerally experience something in-between mythology and the natural world, something that feels larger than life, something that feels like a muscle memory from a long gone dream or nightmare. Whether these spaces be metaphors (the volcanic rock creatures in Mutual Core) or real spaces (locations in Iceland for Black Lake and Stonemilker), they are infused with an emotion and spirit that is other than human.
This is something I try to approach in my own work as well, so I feel a strong connection and inspiration in Andy’s work.
I recently saw a screening of his new series of videos, Interstice. I was excited to see these films that are more grounded in real performers and physical material (as opposed to work inherently infused in VFX) that can still create an otherworldly universe of transformation - as if every movement is an unknown ritual, and every object is possessed with a spirit. In the Q and A following the screening Andy talked a bit about his original inspiration for the films being Chinese lion dances - and the idea that you can see the dancers’s legs below the lion costume, but their bodies are part of an animated spirit for something else. I can definitely see this with Interstice, where the (superhuman) dancers under the masks and veils seem something unknown and un-human, and possessed.
Andy has a larger story to explore and tell, beyond the human level.
He and I also both geek out on interesting fungi, deep sea creatures, and natural phenomena as well :)
Images from Interstice by Andrew Thomas Huang: