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The Return of Frenemies: Frenemies Again



Guests Matthew Gualco and Paul Shortt are two artists who make up the entity Frenemies. The two compete again and again to see who can sell more products during various art book fairs.

Matthew Gualco’s work forms an allusive hybrid between drawing and writing by interjecting the subject matter with literature and symbols. The work is raw in the manner that it is left to the understanding of the viewer. Based on experiences and everyday life, Matthew portrays society with all of its imperfections that we all enjoy. Through his work, he approaches social commentary on popular culture and the highbrow art world. Matthew attempts to give new context to popular preconceived perceptions of how art and writing can be manipulated into new forms. Gualco portrays his art through printmaking and bookmaking – posters and the reinterpretation of well known written works and lyrics. In transposing popular words and lyrics, he wants to create a new dialogue about what is culturally popular or sacred. Matthew is from Sacramento, CA and lives in Brooklyn, NY. He received his BFA in Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute, 2008 and his MFA in New Genres from San Francisco Art Institute in 2012.


Paul Shortt received his MFA in New Media Art from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his BFA in Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute. He has been in numerous group shows in DC, Chicago, Kansas City, and New York City. His works usually engage the public in physical interactions and conversation that examine everyday experiences and cultural norms often in humorous ways through video, sculpture, books and public art. His videos have been shown at the Museum of the Moving Image, The Phillips Collection and the Corcoran College of Art and Design. He has participated in the Printed Matter Art Book Fair’s in New York City and Los Angeles, in addition to art book fairs in Detroit, Baltimore and Kansas City. Shortt has spoken about his work at the Ullens Center For Contemporary Art in Beijing, China and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri. He has been written about in Hyperallergic, The Washington Post, Bmore Art and Review Magazine. Shortt is currently based in Washington, DC, and is the New Media Curator for Arlington Cultural Affairs.