I recently interviewed artist Michele Mattiuz. Known as 'Booga' (A name that she signs all of her work with.), Michele creates images that are highly emotive. These works are filled with angst. The emotive quality of her work is heightened by her expressive prowess. I expect to see great works coming from the studio of this young artist.
Q. When did you first discover that art would be an important part of your adult life?
A. "Art has always been a major part of my life, I can’t recall ever being without it in some way. It becoming an important part of my life was never a conscious decision. There was no decision to make, this is it and that’s how it will be."
Q. How has creating art shaped you professionally and personally?
A. "It gives me focus and emotional release. It’s helped me stay sane."
Q. Tell me a little about your background. Are your past experiences reflected in the work you do today? If so, how?
A. "My art is a product of my experiences and surroundings, the way that I have lived my life. Many things have happened. Death, sorrow and betrayal are common themes in my life and in my art. It would take weeks to describe it all.. if I even could."
Q. On average, how long does it take you create one piece?
A. "The masks take me about a month from start to finish. My paintings take anywhere from a couple days to a month. Depends on how into it I am. Some I never finish if I lose the feeling."
Q. Do you have any 'studio rituals'? As in, do you listen to certain types of music while working? What helps to get you in the mood for working?
A. "In order for me to really paint, I need to dwell in my thoughts. I listen to sad music, really loud and sing. I paint to the rhythm of the music. It helps me zone out.. I sometimes don’t remember painting when I’m done. I need to put myself in an emotionally unstable state… feel the pain and sorrow.. sometimes cry."
Q. Discuss one of your pieces. What were you thinking when you created it?
A. "Separated. Separated (image above and next two below.) was created on the spur of the moment. it was not planned or thought out. I just sat down with a palette knife and painted. I was feeling lost.. separated from myself, my friends.. family.. from everything.
I cried a lot while painting that piece. I finished it within two days. Certain elements in this piece represent other struggles... the emphasis on the elbow signifies my frustration with my x-boyfriends drug abuse… something that haunts me to this day."
Q. Why did you choose the medium(s) that you use?
A. "I started with oils, but oils are really difficult to get off my skin. When I am finished painting, I am completely covered in paint. I like the soft, dirty texture acrylics seem to have and the fast dry time. I work really fast… the texture of the paint is a nice compliment to the subject matter of my work."
Q. Where can we see more of your art?
A. "myspace.com/thunc thunc.com, digestivedesign.com."
Q. Any tips for emerging artists?
A. "Do what you want, what makes you happy. Always challenge yourself but have fun with it."
Q. Has your work ever been censored? If so, how did you deal with it?
A. "Yes, well, I guess. Some of my art was removed from a show before the grand opening because it was too creepy and dark. I was upset because I had created the pieces specifically for the show, but it was sort-of a compliment."
Q. What was the toughest point in your career as an artist? Have you ever hit rock-bottom?
A. "I prefer dwelling at the bottom. I like the people here and how it feels."
Q. What can you tell our readers about the art scene in your area?
A. "In Columbus, OH there is a large variety of artists. The phrase "cluster fuck" comes to mind. The art scene is over-saturated… nothing seems to be happening. I like the underground scene, but its usually run by a bunch of stoners, so things don’t happen as often as I would like to see them..."
Q. Does religion, faith, or the lack thereof play a part in your art?
A. "Not really, but people seem to think it does. I was raised strict Catholic. Church twice a week strict, but the religion didn’t really affect me as much as being forced to do something I didn’t want to. . something I didn’t really believe in. My life was controlled and overly sheltered, which explains my chaotic lifestyle. I like to experience a lot of different things.. I feel I missed out on a lot as a child."
I hope that you have enjoyed my interview with michele mattiuz. Feel free to critique or discuss her work.
Take care, Stay true,