"The Living Will" (2004)

"The Living Will," 2004
Oil and marker on canvas, 88 x 99 inches
Photo by Oren Slor, © Matthew Ritchie
Courtesy Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

"It was something about this moment of incredible abstraction. If you were in New York at the time [of 9/11] you know there was this incredible smell- this awful, awful smell- because it was just a giant bonfire of everything that was in the buildings. And you sort of felt in a strange way that the towers had become part of the whole city because, you know, odor is particulate. When you smell something, you’re breathing in the actual material. It’s not like a radio wave; it’s actually entering your body. And we were all breathing in this terrible thing and it became part of us. And so I started to make these paintings and drawings about figures being reassembled and rebuilt inside the people that had survived." - Matthew Ritchie...

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"It was something about this moment of incredible abstraction. If you were in New York at the time [of 9/11] you know there was this incredible smell- this awful, awful smell- because it was just a giant bonfire of everything that was in the buildings. And you sort of felt in a strange way that the towers had become part of the whole city because, you know, odor is particulate. When you smell something, you’re breathing in the actual material. It’s not like a radio wave; it’s actually entering your body. And we were all breathing in this terrible thing and it became part of us. And so I started to make these paintings and drawings about figures being reassembled and rebuilt inside the people that had survived."

- Matthew Ritchie

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