Mathew Gasparek’s playful, disorienting still life compositions challenge the classical norm of the genre. His colorful works skew the geometric dimension of everyday forms in space by allowing elements of reflection, shadow and magnification to deviate from the expected. Through the use of vivid hues and op-influenced patterns to host his compositions, Gasparek comments on the variables of perception that dictate how we navigate deception and illusion in the world around us. These meditations on subjective perception recall influences from cable news or theatrical irony, as the works insist viewers take a moment to organize or debunk what is explicitly given.

Mathew Gasparek earned his MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2016, and his BFA in Painting and Drawing with minors in Philosophy and Art History from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in 2012. He has exhibited extensively in Illinois, Wisconsin and Virginia, as well as at the Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy. Gasparek is the current co-director at Flat Rate Contemporary, an artist-run online gallery, and lives and works in Richmond, Virginia.

Lives and works in Richmond, VA


2016 MFA – Painting and Printmaking, Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, Richmond, VA

2012 BFA – Painting and Drawing, minors in Art History and Philosophy University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI

2010 Summer Program – Art History, Santa Reparata International School of Art, Florence, Italy


2023 Life, Still, “The Walls” at Sotheby’s, Richmond, VA (forthcoming) 

Farmakon, “The Walls” at Sotheby’s, Richmond, VA (forthcoming)

2019 Not There, Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA

2013 Painting/Video/Installation, Borg Ward, Milwaukee, WI


2017 Dumbwaiter, Valet, Richmond, VA


2022 Pompellemouse, Pompellemouse Gallery, Richmond, VA 

2021 “I Am A Painting,” SPRING/BREAK Art Show, New York, NY

Poets, Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA 

2019 Text Me, Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA

2018 Can’t Take You Anywhere, Resident Arts, Columbia, MO GIFC 2018, Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, GA

One Last One, Fernwey, Chicago IL 

2017 Zone of Totality, Fernwey, Chicago IL

Whateverbeing, Present Company, Brooklyn, NY

The Future is Calling / The Present is Fleeting / The Past is Calling, Anderson Gallery, Richmond, VA

2016 VCU MFA Thesis Exhibition, Anderson Gallery, Richmond, VA 

2015 Emerging/ Emerged, Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA


2020-present Visual Arts Center of Richmond, Instructor

2016-2021 Virginia Commonwealth University Adjunct Faculty, Art Foundations

2016-18 Virginia State University Adjunct Faculty, Dept. of Art + Design

2016 Depot Gallery Gallery Assistant, Virginia Commonwealth University

2015 Virginia Commonwealth University Adjunct Faculty, Painting + Printmaking 

2014 Virginia Commonwealth University Graduate Teaching Assistant, Painting+Printmaking


2017 Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT 

Azule, Hot Springs, NC


2017 Vermont Studio Center Artist Grant

Virginia Commonwealth University, Adjunct Research Grant

2016 Virginia Commonwealth University, Adjunct Research Grant 

2014 Virginia Commonwealth University, Graduate T.A. Award

My paintings reflect a skepticism toward images in contemporary social and mass media. I paint to gain a better understanding of pictorial illusion, subjective perception and our individual and collective propensities for being deceived.


I paint still life scenes of contemporary household objects. The objects are slightly distorted and depicted in a cartoonish style, with highly saturated colors. They are simplified to icons, signifiers of information rather than describing the observed appearance of things. Therefore, I do not paint from observation, but rather embrace an algorithmic way of working. The objects I paint are constructed through developed procedures, which allow me to reproduce multiples of them in paint.


Using simple pictorial devices such as overlap and scale, I make decisions that confuse any spatial logic within the picture. These disruptions illuminate the constructed nature of the overall illusion of the painting. For the viewer, I am not interested in the suspension of disbelief, but rather an introspective reflection on the way we perceive images in our everyday life