Tim Jentsch met with the very talented American artist Matt Gondek, known for his deconstructive pop art. Drawn to the clean lines, bright colors and accessibility of comic books, cartoons and video games, Matt’s skill lies in his ability to replicate the clean graphic style of digital illustration in his paintings. A self–taught artist!
-Introduce yourself to us!
My name is Matt Gondek. A deconstructive pop artist based out of Los Angeles California.
-How do you define yourself? Artist? Street artist? Anything else?
Deconstructive Pop Artist
– How did it all start for you, and what is it nowadays?
I’ve been drawing my entire life, but began taking things seriously about ten years ago. At the time I was just getting rolling by creating freelance illustrations in the music industry. I created 100’s of shirt graphics!
Over time I began to get really bored of sitting on the computer all day, so I wanted to try something new.. I opened a clothing and art boutique on my 30th birthday in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
Unfortunately, I learned very quickly that I hated owning a store. It was a very stressful and bad year! When my one year lease was up, I felt very lost and just began riding my bike around Pittsburgh trying to figure out what to do next. On a whim I picked up a paintbrush and began messing around with housepaint in my basement.
-What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
Let my dog outside to pee.
-Street art is mostly a visually stimulating form of art. To add one more sense to it, what music would you pick to accompany your art work?
I grew up playing in Punk bands. I still listen to a lot of that type of music. I don’t know if it fits with the aesthetic of my work, but I enjoy it.
-In all forms of art, inspiration is crucial. What is it that inspires you?
100% my childhood.
-What is the hardest part while working on a piece of art?
Just devoting the time to complete it. There always seems to be a thousand other things I have to tend too.
-Do you have an artist(s) you admire and what for?
KAWS is my biggest inspiration and also my favorite artist. I just love how colorful and clean his work is.
-Which cities are the most inspiring for you?
Definitely Los Angeles where I currently live. Moving here has completely changed my life.
-What other passions do you have apart from art?
Hmmm.. I’m pretty one dimensional sadly.
-Do you have a wild project that you dream of achieving some day?
I want to start working more with sculpture.. resin.. 3D models. I just began doing that this year but really want to dive in next year.
-Tell us about your art, does it include symbolisms, messages or repeated patterns?
It’s Pop Art. It’s made to be big and loud. Bold lines.. bright colors. I’m trying to get your attention.
-What do people first think of, or feel, when they see one of your works on the street?
I hope that it sparks some recollection of their childhood.
-What are your creative plans for the future?
More travel. More sculpture. More everything.
-Is there a specific thought or message you would like to pass to our audience out there?
I started a podcast recently (called Harsh Truth – it’s on iTunes) because I get a lot of younger artists asking me for advice. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to not give up. I’ve been working on my career for 10 years! It’s just now starting to get rolling and gain attention. There’s no shortcuts.
Thank you! It’s been great to get to know more about the mind and person behind such talented and inspiring works.
Interview by Tim Jentsch – I Support Street Art team