Matt Eich and Tyler Mitchell: Sunlight, Shadow, and a Rainbow
Can photography, usually rooted in reality, help us imagine paradise?
Americans Matt Eich (b. 1986) and Tyler Mitchell (b. 1995) share an interest in belonging, transformation, and the American South. Eich was born, raised, and lives in Virginia. Mitchell, who resides in New York City, was born and raised around Atlanta and returned there to shoot his recent work.
Mitchell first became renowned for his fashion photography. He recently extended his practice of working with models and staging scenes into fine art photography, creating dreamlike vignettes of leisure and play set in the American South. It is, however, a South reimagined: a lush landscape of rustic innocence and simple pleasures that offers Black people refuge, repose, and rootedness. Eich initially gained recognition as a photojournalist. His more recent work provides intimate glimpses of the daily lives of family and friends. Whether candid or posed, these shots use lighting, color, and point of view to transform mundane occurrences into magical moments. They evoke sensations and emotions—the wonder of a child discovering nature or a dip into a chilly river on a hot afternoon. Eich and Mitchell set joyful scenes of relaxation, languor, and personal contentment into the Southern landscape. Both artists use photography, most often associated with recording fact, to suggest the possibilities of transformation, a delight in the senses, and the engaging mystery of the transitory.
FRONT exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art are presented by Richard and Michelle Jeschelnig, with additional support from the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation, Fleischner Family Charitable Foundation, the Louise H. and David S. Ingalls Foundation, and the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York.
The Cleveland Museum of Art is proud to partner with FRONT International. All exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art are underwritten by the CMA Fund for Exhibitions. Major annual support is provided by the Womens Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Generous annual support is provided by an anonymous supporter, Dick Blum (deceased) and Harriet Warm, Dr. Ben H. and Julia Brouhard, Mr. and Mrs. Walter R. Chapman Jr., the Jeffery Wallace Ellis Trust in memory of Lloyd H. Ellis Jr., Leigh and Andy Fabens, Michael Frank in memory of Patricia Snyder, the Sam J. Frankino Foundation, Janice Hammond and Edward Hemmelgarn, Eva and Rudolf Linnebach, William S. and Margaret F. Lipscomb, Bill and Joyce Litzler, Carl and Lu Anne Morrison, Henry Ott-Hansen, Tim O’Brien and Breck Platner, Mr. and Mrs. Michael F. Resch, Anne H. Weil, and Claudia C. Woods and David A. Osage.