Matthew Adelberg is a realist figure painter living in Baltimore, Maryland. Adelberg’s fine arts education began when he transferred to Carver Center for Arts and Technology. 
When he was 17, he studied painting in Colorado and abroad in Italy. In Italy, he first encountered the Baroque era artist Caravaggio, whose philosophy on naturalism and realism has had a drastic impact on Adelberg’s work to this day. 
In the summer of 2014 he was chosen to learn from, live with, and be the apprentice of the famed figure painter Odd Nerdrum in Norway. Adelberg has since developed relationships with the Wyeth family, and has been influenced heavily by Andrew Wyeth’s naturalism.  
            Adelberg’s work has received numerous awards, including the prestigious international Elizabeth Greenshields’ grant, and he has shown his work in a multitude of places including New York, Florida, Colorado, Massachusetts, Israel, Italy, and Norway. Adelberg’s work has been reviewed in numerous magazines and publications. 
Adelberg firmly believes that one must paint what they know, thus his imagery is inspired by his childhood experiences, faith, and the mortality of those closest to him. As such, he considers himself to be an autobiographical artist, shedding light on issues of violence, faith, mortality, and morality, and his paintings tell stories and express feelings as both a form of self-exploration and catharsis. 
Adelberg received his B.F.A. degree in Painting and Art History at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), focusing his attention almost exclusively on painting the figure, and his Masters of Arts in Teaching in 2016.  He currently is the Fine Arts Department Chair at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute.
Artist Statement: 
As a child, I grew up in two homes. My fathers' was plagued by violence and abuse. My mother's was a wholesome home, in which morality and kindness were stressed. I frequented both homes, the violent and volatile on Tuesdays, Thursdays and every other weekend. Having the ability to go back to a "good" home gave me the gift of recognizing from a very early age what was right and wrong on a moral level. This was only magnified by the childhood adversities I confronted until I was fourteen. When I was fourteen a few things happened that directly influenced everything pertaining to my life and work. My father was arrested, my grandfather (a man that filled in the void my father never filled) died, and I became religious. In religion, I found a temporary escape which enabled me to find art, it enhanced my views on morality, and most importantly, it gave me an insatiable spirituality.

            I am highly in tune with the historical process in which I create my paintings and artwork. I begin by painting the canvas black and slowly pulling out the light. This process is extremely important to the meaning of the work. Dark can represent many things, for me they are evil, moral bankruptcy, and my father. So by painting the surface totally dark, I am acknowledging this evil and immorality that surrounds me. However, as we all do, in each painting, and each experience, I begin to find my own sense of light, my own sense of G-d as I push through the darkness of the painting. In these paintings light is representative of the good, G-d, love, and my mother. And so, in each painting, I have to essentially re-discover and evaluate the light and all of its implications. Even in all of the darkness, the light always prevails.

            In my work, I tend to focus on a few key topics that I touched on above; faith, mortality, morality and lineage. All of these things stem out of my experiences as a child and as an adult and so my work begins to represent my life. Through these representations, I gain a higher understanding of myself and my relationship with G-d, as well as a sort of catharsis. I find peace of mind in the details of painting. Creating these works has, and I hope continues to be, an act of meditation, self-exploration, piety and prayer.
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