In the book Just Kids, Patti Smith, refers to the ambiguous time most artists endure between studying art and making a living off one’s art as the “hungry years”. Matt Meinhardt is hungry. For him it’s time to stop “playing” and begin focusing as much energy as possible developing his skills as a versatile artist. Though Matt currently works part-time at a farmers market, he says it’s “just enough to make studio rent. The rest of my time is spent developing specific concentrations, studying, working on commissioned pieces, and creating.”
Matt in the Studio
Matt isn’t embarrassed to tell you that he has been living out of his car (a hearse) since studying Fine Arts at Flagler College. The hearse as a home is a reflection of not only his financial standings but his morbid subject matters and tone. Matt took time to tour the US in his death wagon, surfing from couch to couch along the way. From Florida where he studied, he went back home to Maryland where he developed a more robust portfolio, and then across the US honing in his style at each stop before landing in Southern California. When asked why he chooses a hearse over a bed, he explains, matter-of-factly, “it’s easier being mobile. You can pick up and go where ever there’s work and there’s no house rent to be paid”; leaving funds available for creating art and affording a studio space.
Selected Pieces From Matt’s Portfolio
Meinhardt’s next move is the exhibition of his latest concentration, Trippy Figures. A study that Matt explains as, “The serialization of the traditional pin-up, invoking inner torment and ungraspable aesthetics of scandalized women posed in the unsettled seas. The juxtaposition of these two genres literally ‘sea-sickens’ a traditional view. The mind’s tendency to assemble imagery recoils in its failure to do so, leaving it suspended between pleasure and pain.”