Relevant Anachronisms



Light and Shadow




The Dodecahedron

Hardwood Furniture


“Selfies” in Mirrors


Slide Carousel Boxes



Above, top: Relevant Anachronisms, gouache on paper, 13 inches in diameter, 2012-2013.

Above, bottom: Relevant Anachronisms (Study), colored pencils on paper, 13 inches in diameter, 2012.

Tondo Mandalas Find a Home in Texas

One of my former graduate students, Sloane Snure Paullus, lives in The Lone Star State and her family picked up a couple of my mandala tondos. Here’s the evidence:

2013-03-26 00.04.42

Check out that green JFK bust! Booom!

2013-03-26 00.03.58

I’m just honored to get to have my work in such close proximity to that chandelier, those lamps, and that rug! Nice interior design, Sloane!

“The Bell, Struck” – Tondos by Tim Lowly and Matt Ballou

I’ve got an show coming up in Louisville, KY with Tim Lowly at the 930 Art Center. Click HERE to see the 930’s website for the show. Click HERE to see a gallery of some of the work I’ll be presenting there and HERE for work from Tim. I’m really looking forward to this exhibition! If you’re going to be in the area this summer, check it out!

Above: Bells, acrylic on paper mounted on panel, 24 inches in diameter. In progress.

Collograph Prints

I’m beginning a series of collographic prints based on the angles of the pentagonal sides of dodecahedrons. Here are images from the first few.

All are in a range from 6 to 12 inches in diameter. I’m conceiving of them as tondos or ovoids, but haven’t decided on the orientations or how I’ll use light with them, since it’s so important to how they’re seen.

None of these prints have pigment of any kind on them.

Click on each image for a larger view.

Pillars of the Earth

ballou-shoulderAbove: “Shoulder (Grindstone Cliff, Fall 2009)” Click the image for more info.

I love the Grindstone Nature Area here in Columbia, MO. There are a series of cliffs located there, and several of them are within 5 or 10 minutes walk for me. I often go there to draw or read or think.

I’ve gotten some nice drawings out of my time there. One I did a while back can be seen here.

Good stuff.

“Strive” – An Exhibition of Pastel Work

My show, Strive, opens on November 2, 2009, at Bellevue College Gallery in Bellevue, Washington.


Here are a few links to some of the work that will be in the show:

The Impossible Geometries of Contemplation


Current Events

Revealer (Forced #1)

And here is my statement about the works, written for the show:

Strive – Pastel Works by Matthew Ballou

The group of works I present here – each in the tondo format and created in many layers of pastel – is a small contemplation on the gesture or shape of struggle, concern, and distress.

I have created dense surfaces and chromatic environments meant to play in the distance between implied narrative and votive stillness. Though I take cues from the ways bodies move through and react to stress or pain, these are not pictures of actual pain, nor are they meant to address the true physical reality of hurting. They are instead symbolic stylizations of the aches we feel, inspired by an iconography of bodily form and posture. They imagine the machinations we get up to when in states of deep anxiety, whether in our banal daily lives or amid the worrisome questions of intellectual engagement. They are about a kind of conceptual discomfiture distilled through the image of the body.

My desire for each work is two-fold. First, I aim for the artworks to stimulate reflection, creating some key resonance in viewers, perhaps via the memory of past physical or metaphysical tension. Secondly, I want the artwork to function as an argument for the image of the body as a meaningful metaphor beyond the constraints of individual persons or singular moments.

A summation: “Everything takes form, even infinity. We seek to determine being and, in so doing, transcend all situations, to give a situation of all situations. Man’s being is confronted with the world’s being. The being of man is an unsettled being which all expression unsettles.” – Gaston Bachelard, from The Poetics of Space