J. Matthew Thomas

Artist Statement

I am a queer artist and architect of Euro-Arab descent and I have lived in the western US for nearly two decades. I use methods of deconstruction and reconstruction of materials to reveal and conceal natural and manufactured systems and patterns. I am interested in the tension created by combining historic, social, cultural and land patterns with the contemporary dialogue of development (and degrowth), consumption, and privilege. I create segments of a whole to allow the viewer new perceptions and disorientations, mostly inspired from personal experiences and histories. The labor-intensive process allows internal conflicts of identity to be assigned into the layers, creating a physical manifestation of internal psychological narratives. 


My work explores division, strife, and conquest through Western historical pattern making and capitalist exploitation of consumerism and affluence. I’m interested in connecting my identity across continents and generations: a pattern stained of intolerance, colonialism, control; and an exploitation of land, people, and culture. 


J. Matthew Thomas (b. 1976) is an artist and architect who utilizes the tools of architecture to explore social and aesthetic patterns. Thomas is interested in the tension created by gender and cultural patterns combined with the negotiation of production, consumption, and power. Thomas has had solo shows regionally, with group shows in Germany, New York, and New Mexico. Residencies include the Santa Fe Art Institute, Arteles Creative Center in Finland, The PORT Hackathon at CERN, Switzerland, and Art Farm in Nebraska. Thomas holds an MA in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University in New York City.  Thomas resides in Taos, New Mexico with his husband and 40 chickens. 


Taos News Know Your Neighbor

Thomas - Block Pillow.JPG

J. Matthew Thomas. CMU Block Pillow, 2020. Polyester Craft Felt Fabric, polyester fabric backing, polyester fiberfill, polyester thread. 8” x 8” x 16”. Courtesy of the artist.