Matt Wilde D.O.B -19/06/1971 -
Matt graduated from Liverpool John Moore's school of Art in 1998. It was during this time that Matt began to incorporate mixed media into his artwork such as shopping receipts. Matt was inspired by his urban surroundings, daily commutes, consumerism and waste issues. The busy streets and crowded train carriages were portrayed with black marker pen drawings on top of shopping receipts pasted onto canvas. The end result was at first glance, like looking at a map, extremely busy and with elements of humour and wit. On closer examination there would be speech bubble's next to miniature figures in the style of a comic book. One person filling up the car at a petrol station saying 'Shit its diesel!' and shoppers fighting through the crowds to grab the sale items would be arguing. The work often began with a street of houses and people rushing to work in the morning, while the opposite corner of the work would show a hospital with baby's being born. Another corner would show a funeral at a grave yard.
It was this 'what's it all about' theme that formed a foundation for Matt's work to grow.
Matt continues to experiment with and explore different media with an aim to portray something important and perhaps useful, addressing current issues and concerns while still incorporating that element of wit and humour.
The best way for me to deal with a negative experience is to try and turn it into a positive and sometimes humerous painting. Perhaps the best example of this would be 'you think too much', a solo exhibition from 2005. I had been accused of thinking too much about life and art by family and friends who said they could see the cogs turning in my head. They had become frustrated with my persistence in pursuing a career as an artist.
After graduating in 1998 I had no plans to continue working as a plumber and heating engineer as I had done for the past eight years. I never thought that being an artist would be a stroll in the park but soon realised that it was difficult financially and I had to earn a living to justify my career change.
'You think too much' was the result of one of my many journeys carrying a large canvas to a gallery in the wind and rain, battling with the elements and at one point actually being lifted off the ground. These such events led to a series of paintings in the exhibition such as' Wilde's attempt to reach great heights' which portrayed me, mostly in the distance being swept across various parts of the city until finally crash landing back down to earth. In conclusion, the highs and lows and struggles are just part and parcel of being an artist.
I would say that my work is full of life and energy. The urge to get the ideas from mind to canvas is evident in the immediateness of the charcoal and brush strokes. The fast pace of the thought process and work style coincide with the fast pace of today's lifestyles and the need for me to produce artwork and survive financially at the same time. I think that the viewer can relate to the paintings in one way or another. Is it you waiting for the train or bus to arrive or you rushing through the crowds while chatting on your mobile phone, or perhaps it's you reading the latest headlines in the paper or feeling lost amongst the crowds.
I have incorporated newspaper cuttings along with shopping receipts and tickets from public transport since 1998. I feel that they serve a purpose as afoundation to my work, capturing a moment in time along with dates and headlines. I sometimes add political humour to the work by creating my own headlines in newspapers, billboards or on adverts seen on taxis and buses, I feel that the small attention to detail keep the observer interested in the work and maybe find something new with each view.
More recently my work has explored the city and is mainly inspired by the urban environment, places I've visited and the experiences I've had, by the effect of the media and by the concerns of everyday living. It is an attempt to capture an idea of a place, freeze a thought or memory. As for thinking too much, I try not to at the point of drawing or painting, I try not to worry too much about perfection and concentrate on the immediate. I noticed how my children became more concerned with a drawing looking exactly like the item portrayed, rubbing out or screwing up the paper if it wasn't right. I prefer the energy of their work when they scribble something down without too much thought and concern about the end result. I suppose that is because my work is primarily instinctive.