Blog: Artist Focus | Studio Interview | Matt Wilde
Urban Cityscape Artist
With a fantastic collection of new original paintings of the historic city of Chester, we also have a studio interview along with visual demonstrations from Warrington-based artist Matt Wilde.
Matt captures the vibrancy of the city with a distinct sense of energy. His technique of applying the paint quickly to the canvas in a sketch-like manner lends itself to the fast-paced lifestyles of today's society that Matt is eager to convey. Here we talk to Matt to gain further insight into his processes and inspirations.
How did you become an artist?
I left school in 1987 after a couple of tough final years for various reasons. As far as art was concerned, the careers advisers gave it the thumbs down and I was eventually pushed into a couple of jobs, first as a printer then onto seven years as a plumber and heating engineer. Although good at my job, I had a tough time working all the hours and really missing out on life in my opinion. In 1994 I swapped tools for brushes after being offered a place on an art foundation course, at this point I had not worked on any artwork since leaving school but I threw a few sketches together for the interview. I went on to complete a Fine Art degree as a very determined mature student.
Describe your work in three/four words
Figurative, narrative, instinctive, original.
Does the area in which you live, or other areas influence your work?
Very much so. My work has stemmed from my surroundings and my life’s ups and downs. I was interested in consumer issues such as mass production, waste, pollution and so on. I started to work on top of shopping receipts and using waste materials/mixed media. I also work from nostalgia - things that take you back to good times - music, film and places of interest.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I’m inspired by many things ranging from the way we live, the rat race but also more lately in particular places that mean something to me that evoke memories and generally get the cogs turning enough to want to portray an idea visually.
Do you listen to any music, radio or podcasts while working in the studio?
I’m not a fan of radio and what djs have to say but I do listen to a lot of music, in particular Soul, Jazz, funk such as Gil Scott Heron, Curtis Mayfield, Bobby Womack and Roy Ayers to name a few. I also like G. Love & Special Sauce, Zach Gill, ALO – Animal Liberation Orchestra, Donovan Frankenreiter and my friends band The Newds. I listen to the old podcasts from Karl Pilkington, Gervais and Merchant frequently and also Adam Buxton podcasts.
If you could invite three Artists or art influencers (living or deceased) to dinner who would they be?
I honestly don’t invite people for tea, the house is full enough. And it’s just not really me. I certainly wouldn’t invite any artists because I have never been one to mingle with other artists talking rubbish in the pub. I also think that I would have nothing to ask as you often have to learn things for yourself through trial and error. I might ask Jean Dubuffet around for a coffee and cake (or croissant) to pick his brains about the materials he used on his sculptures and how he managed to piece together his large collages without them wrinkling up at all !?
'Mele Moments' - Jean Debuffet, 1976
What drew you to exhibit at the Watergate street gallery - do you have a criteria for choosing the galleries where you would like to show your work?
I rarely approach galleries - I was with a gallery for five years in Liverpool then a gallery for fourteen years in Manchester. I recently expressed an interest in Chester as it is a favourite city/place. I only approached Watergate Street gallery as it is the best independent gallery in Chester, it is well established but more importantly they expressed interest and enthused about my work - they are also nice genuine people. It had to be an independent and not a chain gallery as I don’t like the work displayed in the chain galleries or the constant reproductions of say, Bob Dylan.
What are you most excited about artistically in 2020?
I have been keen to exhibit in Cornwall with it being my favourite place in the world basically. I am hopeful to exhibit this year after hearing back from a great gallery down there. I’m also adding to my Chester series of work. I also have some work going on display in New York’s Madison avenue and Lexington avenue in 2020 fingers crossed!
Click here to see Matt's full collection!