Artist Q&A with Matt Roe
Matt Roe has been showing international for over 20 years in galleries, art festivals, and digitally. The world has changed since he started creating a long time ago along with reproduction techniques, technology has also fused its way into our general living space. This same process of human evolution has pushed him in that direction when it comes to art and his creative process. Roe has always had a passion for pushing the bounds of creative talent whether it be framing artwork, digital photography, or with abstract works in which he tries to push the bounds of each technique in their own regard.
Every creative path has advanced on its own including his passion for photography and creating digital artwork. The artist discovered a process where a photo is fused onto high gloss aluminum using attributes from the metal to highlight the details of the digital artwork, much the depth of brushwork with paint. This style comes to life in different lighting and produces a life of its own well beyond what the original photograph looked like.
Who is your favorite artist of all time?
For me it’s not all about one artist at all. I’ve been influenced by many different artists through many different times in life. In my early days of creating, it was Dali, Dr Seuss, and Van Gogh. Dali was for his symbolism, Dr. Seuss for creating a whole world from what he saw in his everyday existence, and Van Gogh for his use of texture and color. Today I would say the street artists that make sociological commentaries in their work in all forms of creating, and Warhol for his philosophy about making people look at ever day images in a whole new perspective are mainly what influences me nowadays.
How did you become a professional artist?
I’ve created most of my life, so I was kind of born into it. I used to doodle all the time when I was young, and I’ve been creating ever since.
What are the influences and inspirations in your work?
My day job is a professional picture framer so I’m immersed in art on a daily basis. I see all different types and styles and as a picture framer I see that the framing is an extension of the original artwork, so I’m constantly examining other artists work. In one regard every art and style is an influence, it’s like food, music, or a slice of pizza isn’t just a piece of pizza, and a musical note isn’t just a note, it’s how it’s created and used that makes it different, and I love to see how someone else is using their creativity in developing their own style.
How is your work different than everything else out there?
I don’t really think about that kind of stuff. Everyone can create however they want; I believe we’re all just pieces of the creative pie. I don’t try and copy what anyone else is doing. I have always taught myself, so I’ve always believed that whatever style I’m working in is just an extension of my creative self so it’s always a bit unique just because of that factor.
When is a piece finished for you?
In my eyes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some pieces you know right away that you don’t want to take this any farther, and some pieces you work on for years and may finish nowhere near where it began… That’s the beauty of art as with life it’s a never ending lesson at evolving.
What’s different about your current body of work?
The difference between my current work compared to years past is pretty much everything. As a painter I create from the ground up with an idea or influence, but as a photographer you are using a predetermined subject matter to create with. I’ve always loved engravings and the detail behind them so with my abstract photos on aluminum it’s a contemporary take on a classic tradition. The light acts as coloring tool for in different light environments the photo’s look different and different highlights pop out according to the brightness.
Tell us about a few of your career highlights or moments that have greatly affected your career?
I would say every time someone enjoys or purchases a piece it’s a highlight for me. It’s always a compliment that someone can relate to what I create) but the highlight of my career is showing at an Audi exhibition at the Royal Concert Hall in Rome. Scheduling conflicts made it so I couldn’t attend the show, but my work made it there and the piece was titled Recycle so the message was one I could align myself with.
What’s coming up for you?
If I could answer that question I would, but as with everything in life right now I’m kind of on hold to see how this pandemic changes the future landscape of life. We’re moving into the digital era which is why I’ve began creating digitally more than in the tradition sense. I love new digital galleries for I see this being the future of art.
What advice would you give to an artist just starting out today?
For the youth, keep being original. Don’t limit yourself with traditional ways of learning and be pliable because life changes as does the world we live in. Be open to whatever arises and stay balanced.
Who are some of your favorite under appreciated artists that you don’t think get enough attention?
I don’t really compare artists with other artists so to say one is better than another or that one is underrated compared to another is not for me to decide. As an artist I’m part of the creative world of energy and every person that has come before me and will come after me has been influenced by someone else in one shape or another and to compare or contrast that relationship I really don’t get involved in. Sure, I like some artists better than others but it’s mostly for technique rather than anything else.
To learn more about Matt and his work, please visit www.MattRoe.com.