Mat is celebrated for the surrealist imagery and multi-layered compositions that comprise his distinctive visuals and has provided artwork for legends such as Prince and Michael Jackson. We spoke with Mat to find out more about him, his work and who he considers to be the ultimate pioneer.
What led you to your work in visual art and video?
It may sound like a cliché but I knew from a very young age that I would work in a discipline involving visual art. I had no strategic plan - only a passion for certain stylistic references and the determination to explore the worlds of music, photography, fashion and art - first as a graphic designer, then an art director and then an image maker. Motion-work was an unexpected organic growth from my fashion imagery, a step into a brand new and exhilarating world! It wasn’t an idiom I was all that familiar with a few years ago but it now has a permanent place in my work.
You have a strong visual style. How did this develop and what are your influences?
My visual style is quite closely linked to my adolescence and often conjures up ingredients of those days. I’ve always been obsessed with the process of collage and fragmented compositions. I like the fact that it gives a new dimension to my imaginary world - it challenges the idea of space and time.
What inspires you?
Surrealism, pop art, photorealism, films, music. I guess inspiration comes from everywhere, it’s hard to pinpoint. It could come from a dream that you don’t remember! In a way subconscious recollections allow you to create something new as opposed to studying something which can sometimes hinder your working process.
You recently worked on our spring/summer 2015 show video. How was it exploring the world of Hunter Original for our show?
It was a lot of fun! The theme of English summertime led to a wealth of creative ideas as we meshed traditional symbols with more surreal and very graphic iconography like the dazzle patterns.
You have provided artwork for some huge names - what do you think makes an icon?
For me an icon is someone who can bring fantasy into my life. Someone who can inspire me and has the ability to make me dream or provoke emotions.
Who would you consider to be the ultimate pioneer?
Musically it has to be Prince and David Bowie. Both are legendary musicians who crossed boundaries, absorbed the avant-garde and the mainstream (both interacting to varying degrees) to create completely new musical genres.
Artistically, I’m captivated by the works of Andy Warhol and the man himself and I find that a lot of artists from the Dada and Surrealist movements offer overwhelmingly rich and diverse inspiration.