Born in Switzerland, Mathias Schmied manipulates comic books and magazine images to create wall installations, collages and drawings. His works are pop images transformed. Cut-out graffiti and superheroes take on all new representation and meaning through Schmied’s cautious hand and razor blade. The easily recognizable content of Schmied’s found images becomes confused through his dissection. Pages where all real content has been removed feel empty and even somewhat sad. Depicting only what’s left behind from superhero stories feels like the newspaper without the news. We can only begin to guess at what’s going on.
Other works, such as the “landscapes,” are combinations of explosive imagery. A motif repeated becomes a humorous apocalypse of comic explosions. And Schmied’s “movie soundtracks” depict the “pows” and “kabooms” seen in comics, jumping off the wall and moving into a viewer’s space. Perhaps my favorite are Schmied’s Rorschach comics, which consist of a cut out the figure that Schmied situated in such as way so that he is mirroring his negative space.
Fun, but also thoughtful and engaging, Schmied’s work is both smart and nostalgic.