Matthew Barney was born in San Francisco in 1967; at age six, he moved to Idaho with his family. After his parents divorced, Barney continued to live with his father in Idaho, playing football on his high school team, and visiting his mother in New York City, where he was introduced to art and museums. This intermingling of sports and art informs his work as a sculptor and filmmaker. After graduating from Yale in 1991, Barney entered the art world to almost instant controversy and success. He is best known as the producer and creator of the “CREMASTER” films, a series of five visually extravagant works created out of sequence (“CREMASTER 4” began the cycle, followed by “CREMASTER 1,” etc.). The films generally feature Barney in myriad roles, including characters as diverse as a satyr, a magician, a ram, Harry Houdini, and even the infamous murderer Gary Gilmore. The title of the films refers to the muscle that raises and lowers the male reproductive system according to temperature… read more
I stumbled across the guy's work quite randomly in Paris in about 2002/2203 (maybe?), went to a gallery to see whatever was on really, and was blown away by his Cremaster works. Only spent a few hours in there, but could have easily spent the whole day. Also loved his collaboration with his partner Bjork on Drawing Restraint 9, great artistry and vision, coupled with a hauting and very apt soundtrack.
Drawing Restraint 9 is a master piece, highly recommended to anybody I watched it in London in a Notting Hill Cinema and Matthew Barney was present to answer to questions from the public at the end of the film projection. Pretty Cool! Be prepared, there is not one single conversation in the entire film, and it's still magical
I prefer Cremaster Cycle to DR9 (soundtrack is much better alone, with pics left to your imagination). Although, it is highly uneven, in part due to the fact that Barney is clearly learning to make cinema while doing it. Barney is deeply fascinating filmmaker, because he is the ultimate opposite to James Cameron cinema. All art, no entertainment.