Mat Rude (born 1974, Decorah, Iowa, USA) lives and works in Spokane, WA where he is an Assistant Professor of Art at Gonzaga University. He earned a BA from Luther College in 1998 and an MFA from Montana State University in 2007. Mat also had the distinguished honor of working closely with internationally renowned artist Don Reitz as his studio assistant as well as working alongside Donovan Palmquist of Master Kiln Builders. Before joining the Faculty at Gonzaga, Mat was an Assistant Professor of Art at The University of Iowa and in 2008 he taught for one year at Yavapai College in Clarkdale, AZ. In 2010 he was selected as a member of a delegation of ceramic arts professionals from the United States to research indigenous ceramic materials and their uses in China. The following year Mat returned to China as artist-in-residence at The Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen. His work has been exhibited in numerous venues including The Figge Museum of Art, Davenport, IA; International Ceramics Magazine Editors Association (ICMEA) Emerging Artist Juried Exhibition, Fuping, China; Crimson Laurel Gallery, Bakersville, NC; Lyndhurst Gallery, Tarrytown, NY; Glassworks Gallery, Louisville, KY; East Central University, Ada, OK, Helen N. Copeland Gallery, Bozeman, MT; The Clay Studio, Missoula, MT; Akar Gallery, Iowa City, IA; The Cedar Rapids Art Museum, Cedar Rapids, IA; and The Eutectic Gallery, Portland, OR
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
-Dwight D. Eisenhower Jan. 17, 1961
In 2007, the amount of money labeled ‘wasted’ or ‘lost’ in Iraq ($11 billion) could pay 220,000 teachers’ salaries. In 2008, the Pentagon spent more money every five seconds in Iraq than the average American earned in a year. Roughly 50,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. In 2013, the United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs released a study that covered suicides from 1999 to 2010, which showed that roughly 22 veterans were committing suicide per day, or one every 65 minutes. A new report by the Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival, and the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War states “at least 1.3 million lives lost in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan alone since the onset of the war following September 11, 2001.”
The Boomba series is a satirical commentary on the industrial military complex. A circus-like color palette adorns the surfaces and the cartoonish forms are overgeneralized to reference the absurdity that war can be. In seeking to create a catalyst for dialogue, this work alludes to the spin, the fear inducing rhetoric, and the surreptitiousness that accompanies, and most of the time dominates, the discourse on the subject, which often leads to misguided patriotism.