q)Please introduce yourself.
a) Mats!? extractor of the invisible, Ink Pusher.
q) Where do you live and work?
a)I live and work in San FranciscOakland, Killerfornia
q) How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?
a)Images derived and interpreted from Caricatures, cartoons comic books and newspapers and other mass media visions that make up Humanity's visual language ?
q) How did you start in the arts? How/when did you realize you were an artist?
a)I remember a stint in the hospital as a child and a general sense of isolation playing some part in the urge to create places of adventure that played themselves out on paper. Later it became a tool of communication when living in a place where the native tongue did not match the surroundings.
q) What are your favorite art materials and why?
a)The materials vary depending on my moods. I just finished a "Painting" acrylic on masonite, and while I enjoyed working on it, I won't do the same for a while. I'll cycle through various mediums, maybe I'll paint on back of glass next... or on cardboard. Of course the most common is paper and pencil, all the ideas emerge from that. then other techniques fan out from there. Ink and brush To Silkscreen printing and lately even the computer for color separations prior to printing.
q) What/who influences you most?
a)A combination of Comics, commercial graphics , Lettering from Asia and India, Nature , fuzzy abstract memories, molecular levels...Herge, EP Jacobs, Oyivind Fahlstrom, Crumb and underground cartoonists in general, anonymous sign painters, primitive art...mixed together with historical or sometimes current events....
q) Describe a typical day of art making for you.
a)There's no typical day . It's always difficult to start. I sometimes go weeks without making anything. I guess there's 2 different approaches, 1:-the creative, then 2:- the methodical. For example I'll conceive a piece/idea in one way, then I have to find the right application for it. Is it going to remain a drawing? Is it going in a publication? Is it a sketch for a painting? etc... The creative part is akin to meditation, somehow the idea must flow out of oneself and manifest itself in a challenging or satisfying manner, very difficult.! many times it ends up in disaster! Throw away or at least put aside for another time when the invisible realm is more cooperative. I guess it's kind of like a spiritual seance...
So when I've decided on its destination(s) is when the methodical comes in, (Much easier!)
If it's going to be a screenprint on glass, it just becomes a process, tedious at times and only worth it for a successfull finished work...Film-screen-print-paint...finished.
q) Do you have goals, specific things you want to achieve with your art or in your career as an artist?
a)I like to present the viewer with a striking , engaging and sometimes provocative or evocative experience.
Also achieving a modest version of Immortality by sending on a work into the future, imbued with some energy or spirit from the person and the time period it was created.
Although in this day and age , much of the visual information presented and consumed is in a sense immaterial as it's presented digitally on internet etc, I still believe an object takes on a fetishistic element that can have a powerful impact on viewers long afterwards...
q) What contemporary artists or developments in art interest you?
a)I'm clueless to what goes on at the moment. I avoid looking at things for fear of contracting the visual virus of trend.
I have enough visual clutter in my brain I have to be careful what I let in.
Lest you transit from a creator of visual art to becoming a consumer of it...
q) How long does it typically take you to finish a piece?*
a)Anywhere between 3 hours to 3 weeks... depending on my mood and inspiration...
q) Do you enjoy selling your pieces, or are you emotionally attached to them?*
a)I do enjoy selling my pieces.It's something I've created and by becoming adopted by someone it takes on a new life somewhere else. Comes in contact with and creates reactions with new viewers instead of being trapped by me. they become free! and it allows me to eat another week and have shelter. I resent the pieces that nobody buys (many!) they represent failures to me. I can be attached to a piece but am satisfied to have a picture of it...
q) Is music important to you? If so, what are some things you're listening to now?
a)Yes music is very important to me and I'm sure it influences what I do. Right now I'm listening to music with lyrics in languages I don't understand. I can't be polluted with knowing what the words mean, instead the voice becomes an instrument.
Right now some pop/rock from Turkey 60's 70's.A lot of Asian POP, Thailand, Burma and middle eastern stuff .
a)Non fiction historical mainly but recently read "2666" by Roberto Bolano.
Travel Books also so I can fantasize about traveling to exotic places....
q) What theories or beliefs do you have regarding creativity or the creative process?
a)Doing is the most important thing, although I still waste much torturous time "thinking" about it... I get depressed when I don't work (often)
and have panic attacks that I'll never be able to do anything again .
Happens all the time. So I guess if it's a theory.... just do!
q) What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing) when you're not creating?
a)Traveling , watching movies, walking the dog, drinking, working, riding the bicycle .
q) Do you have any projects or shows coming up that you are particularly excited about?
a)I'm hoping to have an upcoming show as a collaboration with one of my favorite artists who is also a legendary SF artist...but I can't say anymore...
q) Do you follow contemporary art scenes? If so, how? What websites, magazines, galleries do you prefer?
a)I don't know what's going on at all so I don't even know if I like what's going on, I'm completely unaware of it. I don't read magazines or art websites or even galleries... I probably should but...I'm a bit of a hermit.
q) Ask yourself a question you'd like to answer, and answer it.
a)Q:- When is this interview over? A:- Now!
q)Where can we see more of your work online?