"Memory and physical space are driving forces in Nic Mathis’s work. His subject matter is culled from the memories that persist after first impressions or vivid dreams, resulting in drawings and paintings of weeds, flowers, and the distorted forms of furniture, detritus, animals, and people. Mathis’s compositions record his reactions to these memories within the perimeters of the canvas, the paper, or even his immediate environment.
Mathis’s interest in memory is driven by his experience with color synesthesia, a neurological phenomenon that elicits involuntary associations between colors and other entities, such as letters and numbers in individuals. It only follows that his experience of this phenomenon informs his choice of subject matter (chairs, shadows, obscured human and animal forms) and color palette (often muted and limited, but liberally splashed with black). These choices illustrate an exploration of memories that are rooted in inexplicable and personal color relationships.
Mathis builds upon personal memories, his own history of transience and collecting, and his unique relationship with color to create work that cannot help but stick within a viewers' mind. His on-going engagement with sketching has produced thousands of pages of drawings—but a glimpse of the history of his engagement with and reactions to his physical environment."