Our 10 Artists for our 10th Anniversary celebration continues! Over the next 10 months our newsletter will feature 10 of our 'amaeyzing' Kids & Art artists who have been with us on our journey from 2008 to now.
We will compile all 10 artists' stories into a small book ready for our 10th Anniversary gala in San Francisco on December 1, 2018. Each of the 10 artists will also be given one word on which they will create a piece of art. These 10 pieces will be displayed together at our gala and will encompass the mission of Kids & Art. We thank these artists for taking part and inspiring us with their artwork and insightful words.
For October please meet artist Matthew Robertson.
1. Name, website
Matthew Robertson, matthewrobertsonart.com
2. What inspired you to begin your journey as an artist?
It became abundantly clear to me shortly after entering into the workforce as an adult that I had to pursue art professionally. I’m not quite cut out to do anything else.
3. What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work? What do you do to get into your creative zone?
I find that staying motivated and interested are not quite as important as maintaining a strong studio practice. As long as I’m showing up regularly and making stuff I’m in good shape; motivation, interest and inspiration will follow naturally. I keep motivated and inspired by looking at art, reading, learning new things and having interesting life experiences.
4. What are you working on now?
I’m working on creating images that Jorge Luis Borges, if he were alive today, would be pleased to hang on the wall of his parlor.
5. What does your art mean to you?
A challenge. A puzzle box whose structure and solution are forever shifting. A fun way to spend the afternoon.
6. What has been the most difficult challenge as an artist and who are your biggest influences?
I think that the most difficult challenge that I’ve faced and continue to face as an artist is learning how to develop and maintain a positive and healthy mental attitude. In terms of creative influences, a few of my faves are Goya, Bacon, Coltrane, Kubrick and the aforementioned Borges.
7. What has been your favorite accomplishment as an artist?
I tend to feel that my most recent painting is my favorite artistic accomplishment until I begin the next one and attempt to do something better.
8. What advice would you give to someone starting out as an artist?
Do it. Don’t give up. Work as hard as you can and try to enjoy the process. Don’t be afraid to try new things and to fail. Welcome failure. Fail often. It’s through the process of trying new things in the studio, failing, learning from my mistakes and trying again that I stumble upon images that work. Creating work that’s unsuccessful is a necessary step in the process of creating work that’s strong and innovative. In this sense, failure = success. Finally, cultivating a rich and full life demands that you do more than just one thing. Get out of the studio on occasion. Have relationships, hobbies, interests, and pursuits that are not art related. I think that it’s possible and necessary to to both work hard and to have some balance in one’s life.
9. If you could live in a different artistic period, which one would you chose?
The period between 1900-1950 in Europe and the United States was a time of really interesting artistic exploration and I would have liked to have been able to meet some of those artists and experience the scene first hand. Though, it was also an era of incredible conflict and suffering…. I do appreciate the comforts and benefits that technology affords the contemporary artist, so I’m pleased with my current temporal position.
10. Do you have a favorite art gallery? Do you have a favorite color? And why?
I saw an excellent show at the Tate Britain this summer that included some amazing works by Chaim Soutine, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, Cecilly Brown and Jenny Seville. It was an outstanding collection of figure painting that spanned the entirety of the 20th century. Easily one of the best shows that I’ve ever seen.
I don’t really have favorite color. I’m interested in exploring the relationships and conversations that happen when working with a variety of colors on a picture plane. As a painter, I’m always using grey to control my values and levels of saturation. Grey is a good friend of mine.
Do it. Don’t give up. Work as hard as you can and try to enjoy the process.
I believe art has the power to heal because…
Don’t be afraid to try new things and to fail. Welcome failure. Fail often.
I think that the most difficult challenge that I’ve faced and continue to face as an artist is learning how to develop and maintain a positive and healthy mental attitude.
I keep motivated and inspired by looking at art, reading, learning new things and having interesting life experiences.
About the artist:
I have always been compelled to create work that is autobiographical in nature and the source material of my art is often harvested directly from the memories of my past. I’m intrigued and fascinated by the individual’s pursuit of introspection and self-awareness. Specifically, I’m interested in identity and the role that memory plays in how we construct our views of self and the world. By directing the lens of creative inquiry inwards I hope to reveal truths and ask questions about the human experience that are personal as well as universal.
Life is filled with contrasting events, emotions, and thoughts packed one right after the other in jarring and unpredictable arrangements and I reflect and investigate this dynamic and contradictory quality of life in my work by knitting together both disparate and harmonic visual components. My recent works are autobiographical narrative pieces that incorporate personal symbolism, archetypal imagery and juxtaposition of figuration and abstraction to explore fundamental truths of the human condition.
Kids & Art Foundation is thankful to have a vast community of artists who create with us. Our artists share their passion for art and their commitment to make the world a better place. Without them we cannot heal pediatric cancer through art.
If you believe in the healing power of artists then please support our artist stipends with your donations and corporate matching. All donations are 100% tax deductible and our EIN is 27-1415727