Seeing beautiful pieces of public art in densely populated areas is not unusual. A rarity is to encounter artwork so compelling that for a moment you’re transported to another time and place. To produce art that can do this requires an abundant amount of persistence and a love for the craft. Both these characteristics are attributes of Chicago street artist MATR, who has devoted a large portion of the last decade to developing his techniques.
The journey began years ago after the aspiring artist left behind a job at McDonald's and invested his left over money in tattoo equipment. He then began tattooing frequently, yearning to get better each day. The new environment pushed him to draw excessively. Through drawing and gradual tattoo requests, MATR began to grow his portfolio of work.
"From tattooing I learned about realism and that transitioned into works on canvas. Then it opened my eyes to graffiti and doing murals. It went full circle because creating art on different mediums really helped my tattoo work."
Just this past year the artist began to show a new side of himself. Blending techniques he adopted in his tattoo studio, with a style of work found in some of his street art. Through continuous experimentation, a new collection of work has arisen. And the artist has recently transitioned into a beautiful yet sophisticated style.
The Chicago native has displayed work publicly in the past, but he's rarely made anything available for sale. On Tuesday May 4th, MATR will exhibit a new series of work, which will be available to the public for purchase. He'll be joined in the exhibition by Adonte Clark & Dwight White, both notable Chicago painters. Opening day will occur from 3-11pm at the remarkable venue: Pilsen Yards. The exhibition will then be up for the following 8 weeks.