"Having been an avid user of the internet from the age of twelve, Brindle became aware at an early age of the burgeoning social networking environments of the mid-1990s with their attendant personal profiles, and the potential escapism that they offer.

Throughout his teens Brindle experimented with various online identities: part creation, part self-realisation and part aspiration, these identities gave an intimate online glimpse into the life of a modern youth growing up. Whilst many 'usernames' and selves were created during Matthew's transition from youth to adulthood, only one was as fully realised as 'Skull Boy'.

Wagstaff maintains: 'The internet offered an opportunity for Matthew to experiment with his own identity by creating various online mythologies and by subverting his image as an outlet for self expression. Of all Matthew's online personalities the most notorious was Skull Boy, a twisted teenage punk exploding with energy, desire, naivety and raw sexuality. Growing from boy to man in front of our very eyes, Matthew's images exude a mixture of blatant narcissism and fragile vulnerability, Skull Boy shares with us the muted aspirations of adolescence, where self discovery clashes.

Many of the private images in the exhibition were never intended for mass public consumption and could only be found for short amounts of time on various profile websites. Rise Berlin and Goth on Bus would like to present this exhibition as a unique record of Brindle's teenage life, as well as showing the development of great technical and aesthetic competencies achieved outside of an art-school environment."

- Lee Wagstaff, Artist. Director of RISE Berlin. Curator of SkullBoy Exhibit.

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© Matthew Robert Trevor Brindle 2022.
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