Name: Matt Talbert
College: Laguna College of Art and Design, BFA in Illustration
How would you define yourself as an artist? I consider my work to be contemporary realism. I’m paintings people, but I’m also trying to explore new techniques and push the boundaries of representational art.
Why art? How did you get involved with art? I would make little drawings all of the time as a kid and that just progressed in school. I was lucky to go to Orange County Highschool of the Arts where I learned the foundational skills at a young age. Once I found oil painting there was no turning back, I was hooked.
What art do you most identify with? Definitely figurative art. I love painting people, and
specifically portraits. It seems to be the most direct way for me to convey what I’m feeling.
What does “being creative” mean to you? It means trying to get out of the way and let your intuition guide you.
What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? The best advice is to learn everything and then forget it all. It sounds confusing when you’re young, but as I’ve gotten older it makes perfect sense. You need to learn the technical skills so you can let your voice be heard clearly, but you don’t want to be thinking about the technical stuff while you’re working. Ideally you don’t want to be
thinking about anything at all.
What are you trying to communicate with your art? I am mostly trying to paint emotion. I don’t have a preconceived idea about what that will be before I start, I just let the pose of the model and my own personal feelings at the time guide me.
What do you see as the strengths of your pieces, visually or conceptually? I hope its my ability to convey some universal emotion that we all connect with. I also feel like I’ve been trying to shed away fear and take more risks, which hopefully is seen in the paintings.
What themes do you pursue? Universal emotions that connect us all and the existential questions of what is means to be human.
What inspires you to work? Initially the human form, but also what I read about science and philosophy. Other forms of art such as music and film are also very inspirational.
Book: On the Road
Movie: There Will Be Blood
Quote: Rilke – “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer”
Can we talk a bit about your process at the beginning of a project? How do you conceive of it? How do you build it in your mind before you start? My process starts by finding models that
I’m inspired by and then working with them to create imagery for my paintings. I will have a few ideas of what I want to do with them, but a lot of the time it's just trying different things on the spot during the photo shoot. Then I sift through the photos to find which ones really speak to me. Then I do a sketches and color studies before beginning the actual painting.
What Role does the artist have in society? To help people see things in a different way or bring forth some universal truth that we can all connect with.
Do you suffer for your art? Yes, I go through pretty big ups and downs depending on how a painting
is going. It’s not always a happy process, but when it's going well there is nothing better.
What do you think about the art community and market? On the community side of things I really enjoy interacting and seeing other artists work on Instagram. I don’t go out to as many shows as I’d like, but the galleries in Los Angeles seem to be doing well and there is a lot of interest in the representational art right now.
Should art be funded? Why? Any way we can have more art in public spaces and more art in our education system that is a good thing.
What famous artists have influenced you, and how? Degas, Sargent, Van Gogh, Cezanne.
What other interests do you have outside of art? Photography and music.
You seem to be very aware of the history of works. Where do you see films, photo exhibitions, art perfomances today? I’m lucky to have a wife who works at an art school so I get to see all the performances they put on.
How would your life change if you were no longer allowed to create art? It’s hard to imagine what it would be like, very different.
some short questions now…
Colours: My palette is Titanium white, yellow ochre, cad red, alizarin crimson, trans red oxide, viridian green, cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, and ivory black.
Textures: the more the better
Describe your style: Define yourself;… Already discussed
Define your art: Already discussed
Museums: Love the Musee d'Orsay in Paris
Cities: Favorite cities are NYC, LA, Paris
Artists: I recommend every painter study the golden age of Illustration… Dean Cornwell, JC Leyendecker, NC Wyeth, Rockwell, Howard Pyle.
Music: Rock and Jazz. Local Natives, Lee Morgan.
Cars: Love my electric car.
Mobile App: Instagram @talbertart
Who are the artist’s you admire the most? Already answered
What are your next projects? Working on some large scale paintings.
Define Klassik Magazine for the audience? An international sophisticaded plattform of international artists, photograsphers and special guests.