Matthew Tarini

Home: Ancaster, Ontario
Title: Self Portrait
Media: Oil on masonite
Dimensions: 25.4 x 20.32 cm

Artist Statement

I am interested in how people look at portraits. I chose myself as a subject because I wanted to explore how I could depict a part of my personality in a small, cropped portrait and how I could direct the viewer’s understanding of the painting by playing around with different formal elements in the work. In particular, the cool, muted colour palette and the compressed range of values in the flesh add to the portrait in this way. From there the viewer is open to explore the exterior appearance of the individual while contemplating who the subject is and assessing their own thoughts and feelings about this person based on what is presented.


Matthew Tarini was born in Kingston, Ontario and is the youngest of four children. Working mostly in oil paint, his subject matter consists of cityscapes, landscapes and figurative work and he is actively building a body of work in each of these genres. He is particularly interested in our society’s increasing lack of connection to nature and in the erosion of community and beauty in the modern world.

Alongside these bodies of work Matthew is also pursuing a career as a portrait artist, at which he has already had some success. He has done various private commissions, he has painted the portrait of the Dean of Dentistry at the University of Toronto, and he has appeared on the television show Star Portraits and had his work chosen by Sean Cullen.
Matthew finished the Fine Arts Undergraduate program at York University and will be finishing his Masters of Fine Arts at Western University this summer. He hopes in the future to teach both drawing and painting and to continue to produce work for exhibition.