This lighthearted exhbition by Matthew John Winters has a perspective as refreshing as the candy in its title

By Caitlin Greenwood

'Peppermint Doorstop'

Co-Lab N Space, 905 Congress
Through June 30

At its core, great art makes you think, but often that introspective process is confined to subject matter that feels serious. We navigate the depths of the human experience through paintings and explore loss in photography: This is the gravity we anticipate art holding.

Matthew John Winters has gleefully thrown all that aside in "Peppermint Doorstop" at Co-Lab's N Space Downtown. Instead of belaboring the sullen, Winters relishes creating art that is simply fun. His candy-coated motif began with tagging the red and white swirls around Austin (you can catch some at the HOPE Outdoor Gallery on Baylor), but the exhibition lets Winters take his sweet subject matter and diversify the audience experience through photographs, sculpture, painting, and even custom, vinyl-cut stickers.

Gallery attendees are first greeted with Winters' larger inclusions, namely photographs which depict his sculpted peppermints and various other commercial items in discreet locations. The images further nurture the idea of remoteness in the art world, but instead of an emotional revelation tucked into an image, you are confronted with a comically constructed block of cheese sitting atop a kitchen counter. Throughout the space, Winters offers audiences a chance to interact with the various sculptures, including a jovial pile of peppermints sitting adjacent to their cheesy sculptural counterparts.

Audiences, one word of warning: Don't let the lightheartedness of Winters' work distract you from his expert craftsmanship. "Peppermint Doorstop" is equally amusing and intelligent, with an altogether refreshing perspective.