The digital artworks created by Jake Matik exhibit two strong tendencies, on the one hand, there is an interest in the geometrical forms and on the other, a more surreal source of inspiration, one foregrounded in the interest in the human figure. From the second inspiration source, grew series of works (like Mining Rigs) on the dystopian visions of the future and forms merging the human and technology into one. In the Mining Rigs, the perfected and glossy female characters, are surrounded and dominated by fragments of machinery that encompasses their bodies. Most of the machinery resembles miniature engines and sets of tubes and pipes which connect them.
The human figure is still clearly visible underneath them but there is a strong sense of it being overburdened and dominated by the technological, mechanical aspect of the piece. This type of archetypical struggle between what is human and natural and the human-made and artificial is a central storyline of informing the vast majority of the science fiction genre, in all the possible media, from film to digital art. Thus finding a way to convey this struggle in a conceptual and non-obvious way is not an easy task. To me, Matik’s approach to the human body in the Mining Rigs series resembles the Balanus growing on the skin of whales. Those organisms are incredibly resistant and ancient and even though they appear to be pests on the outside, they have their own, defined role in the ecosystem of the ocean, Similarly, the technological machinery on the female bodies depicted by Matik does not necessarily is a burden, despite seeming so, but a form of vital support. In Mining Rigs Matik explored the human body as a mean of mining cryptocurrencies, in a self-reflective way alluding to the mechanisms behind the NFT-based artworks and his own practice.
Another digital work, Phungible acts as a mean of elevating the human form in a different way, the mirror-like, reflective outside of a human skull seems to be not reflecting the outside but translating the complex mind-maps, like energy streams, onto the outside. Matik is also very vocal about his appreciation for technological advancement, especially in the last couple of years, which has allowed for the advanced graphic processing units renderings to be accessible to artists with different levels of experience. This allows Matik to explore both the abstract geometric forms in all of their complexity, as well as make creatures which are somewhere between the natural and the surreal world. The artist describes Xenomorph as the deadliest of all alien species and one that requires another organism to survive and reproduce. The outside of the alien’s form is almost pearly and its shape vaguely recalls that of an eroded sea shell, another resistant form known from the natural environment. The seamless merging of sci-fi inspirations and visual sensitivity to the most stimulating natural forms makes Jake Matik a one to watch.
Follow Nina on her Instagram at @l.ninka