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Matt Maltman: LONG LIVE THE CLA


Opening Reception: April 28 6pm-10pm

 

The last few years of life have been a big fat turd, for me personally, as they have for many of us. Whether it's on a national level, an international level, or right at home, our day to day lives have grown bitter and divisive. The social and political routines we set for ourselves have been upended and now facts are being questioned, truths are being undermined, and our trust for one another has reached new lows. My work had suffered because of some of these events, and even more so because my personal life had been thrown into a year long turmoil. Output had been scattered and ambling, with no real purpose or voice. At my lowest and bleakest moment some new friends reached out and offered a hand to lift me up. They believed they could help me. They believe they can help everyone to overcome these existential and tangible threats to our daily norms. "Who were they?" you ask. Well, they call themselves the Children's Liberation Army, and they mean business.

The CLA is comprised of these take-no-guff, hardscrabble, and altruistic children and their striking animal sidekicks. Trolling every countryside, city, and community they search for those in need of a helping hand, or in many cases a helping paw. This steadfast group provide assistance whether it be in the form of support or defense. They take matters into their own hands, finding the courage to take action when many of us cannot. Propping up humanity and empathy, when others' hands have grown too tired to lift. Standing for justice and equality, when others' legs can no longer support them. These kids hail from all over the globe and bring with them the ferocity, the speed, and the grace of their animal compatriots. The bond formed with their sidekick animal friends is the glue that keeps their effort buoyed, and their reason for standing up against the negative forces in the first place.

Luckily, some of these amazing children decided to take me in and have helped me to move forward, however unsteadily, through these last couple years. The Children's Liberation Army has welcomed me into their inner circle and allowed me to document, through my work, their struggle to remain in the light and to fight back the evils that everyday life has wrought upon the people of our world. My portraits of these incredible youngsters attempt to convey a sense of their urgency and their message which is one of inclusivity, equiminity, and above all else, love. They've helped me and I believe they can help you, too.

LONG LIVE THE CLA