top of page

Matt Haffner

Matt Haffner is a painter and photographer who has participated in almost 60 exhibitions to date across the eastern seaboard of the United States, especially in Atlanta, and has been consistently displaying his art since 1993. He is represented by WhiteSpace Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia for which he has been featured in four solo exhibitions to date. Matt has received notable accomplishments with Kennesaw University including tenured faculty awards and an installation grant at the university funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. He has given lectures at universities including Georgia Tech, University of Memphis and at museums such as Columbus Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia. 

Often containing a retro style and sense of urban grit, Matt Haffner’s paintings appear more like printmaking prints rather than traditional surface painting. With a pristine layout, the paintings and works on paper appear to be executed with either stenciling or use of a projector. With deep shadows and silhouettes, the contrast remains high with subtle variations in the background usually containing whites and neutral tones. Usually figurative, the paintings reveal reflections of character through moments of theatrics with harsh lighting and gritty, dirty, and rustic environments. His photography usually depicts low-brow Southern culture and scenery with journalistic angles and tendencies. The photos reveal social and economic decay with a sense of aging environments in need of development. 

Preservation (top of article) portrays a woman staring at an aggressor who has just assaulted or murdered a loved one who lays helplessly on the floor. The detailed carpet patterns reveal an environment of refinement with the figures dressed in business casual attire. Perhaps the interior of a five star hotel or prestigious mansion, the intricate carpet hints at an opulent setting. The cool blues on her skin reflect the cold reaction on her face facing the unseen aggressor who appears off the surface. The assaulted man remains spread out on the floor with neutral tones as if to express lifelessness and inactivity. A theatrical shadow protrudes over the young woman’s face as if like an opera mask. The theatrics and high tensity painting reflects a sense of urban film noir, retro aesthetics, and containing pop art elements of blocked off forms. 

Layin’ Low (second from top of article) depicts two gentlemen in contemporary scuffed up business attire driving a rustic retro vehicle with detailed cityscapes portrayed on the upper half of the composition. Both men have focused glances in their eyes as if on a mission. Perhaps they are city inspectors or detectives on their way to their next objective. With thick retro-grade eyeglasses and short, shaggy haircuts, they appear more like government officials rather than corporate officers. The surface remains smeared with rustic patterns in earth tones across the vehicle and continuing into the cityscape as if they were one in the same. 

Matt Haffner projects contemporary life with urban decay, luxurious metro scenes, and backwater deterioration. With pop art aesthetics, theatrical lighting, and focused compositions, he communicates storytelling through the eyes of inner-city and suburban events. Armed with a resume a mile long and works which contain contemporary mettle and monumental presentation, Matt Haffner helps bridge the gap between social realism and mass media production values.

Artist website:


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
bottom of page