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Artist Spotlight: Neil Matthiessen

neilMatthiessen4 In preparation for Colorimetry, our next collaborative exhibition featuring the works of artists Patricia Rodriguez and Neil Matthissen, we here at W.A.A.S. would like to offer you some insight on the artists you'll be encountering the much awaited opening night. I had the opportunity to pick Neil's brain about the show so read his responses and get to know him before you get to know his work!

What is your background as an artist?

I received my BFA in Printmaking from the University of Montana, my MA from West Virginia University and my MFA from Minneapolis College of Art & Design. I am also a graphic designer as a freelancer and at firms; I have worked with al types of clients from fortune 500 companies and non-profits that ranged from print, web and environmental design. I also have been teaching at the university level for the 13 years.

What do you want your portion of the show to convey? And how will your work integrate with Patricia’s?

I want my portion of the show to convey the sense of wonder, to start to see things from the ordinary and how they can be transformed. I think that our work integrates very well, Patricia and I use very bold colors and our work both have elements of nature, though mine tends to take more of paired down approach to my imagery.

Describe the ideal encounter a viewer would have with your work.

I have none, I produce work that I like and I expectations on how the viewers encounter. My work is logical and at the same time unexpected. I use programming to generate the work, so I have an idea what will transpire when I run the programs, but at the same time I have idea what the program will generate and each time I rerun the program something new is created. Just like how I create my work, I have control but at the same time I do not, the viewers bring there own experiences and interpretations to the work that I can not control. I like that aspect that the work is not complete by me, but is completed by the individual viewer.

Colorimetry is a scientific term to describe the extent of a human’s perception of color, how does this technical definition relate to the work’s you plan on contributing to the show?

Color has a major role in society and culture. Color is an aspect of one of our senses, sight, but a lot of times we forget how color plays such a role in our lives. As a graphic designer I am always using color to add to the communication. Just changing the colors hues from a warm hue like yellow to a cool hue like blue can change the feeling. In the works that I am creating for the show, color is just as important to the visuals themselves, if not more.