ART COLLECTIVE: Chapin Mathews – Live Painter
- By Eric Moore
- Published on July 19, 2012
Name: Chapin Mathews
Trade: Live painting
Highlights: Painted at Wakarusa, Summer Camp, Sonic Bloom, Camp Barefoot, Rootwire and with Papadosio, Emancipator, OTT, The Avett Brothers and Railroad Earth
Chapin Mathews remembers a time when art was not a big a part of the festival scene. As the visionary art movement grew within the live music community, Mathews was honing his skills as an artist.
Mathews began painting in 2004, around the same time he started getting involved in live music. At that time, his art was not connected to the music, but it was only a matter of time before the two would become inextricable.
As a multimedia artist, Mathews experimented in a variety of mediums including photography, digital art, paint, illustration, glass and ceramics. By 2008, Mathews had started to become heavily influenced by Salvador Dali, which became clear in his creations of surreal landscapes that can only be described as “spacescapes.”
“The parts of perspective are still there,” Mathews said. “Vanishing points, things being further away and closer, horizon lines are all there in most of the work.”
Mathew’s work has only continued to evolve over the years.
“Currently, I’m focusing on elements of geometry and pattern design incorporated with landscape and atmospheric styles,” he added.
Mathews got his first opportunity to paint live in 2008 on stage with Silo Effect following an STS9 show.
“It was a great experience compared to most of my current performances because when you're so intertwined with the music that's going on in the moment, you’re much more in the zone and heavily influenced.”
By 2010 Mathews was rarely doing studio painting, as he begun to focus primarily on live painting. Since that fateful night in 2008, Mathews has painted at Camp Barefoot, Rootwire, Wakarusa, Summer Camp, Karma, Sonic Bloom and Nomadic Roots as well as with bands like Papadosio, Emancipator, Invisible Allies, Ott, The Avett Brothers and Railroad Earth.
Mathews thrives on experiences in which he can be as involved and synchronized with the music as possible.
Ultimately, Mathews does art because he enjoys the creative process. But he does value the familial nature of the scene.
"I want to influence others to be inspired and find their own creative voice,” he said. “What’s beautiful about the festival scene – especially the arts in the festival scene – is it’s all a community.”
Mathews only sees his art continuing to evolve with the integration of new digital aspects.
“I’m actually primarily interested in trying to get into live projected artwork,” he said. "The access we have in this current digital age is allowing artists to create a much larger production in collaboration with the lights and music."
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