giovedì 19 novembre 2009

Interview with Matina Stamatakis

q)please tell us a brief info about yourself.

a)I almost always act on impulse.

q)Tell us about your humble beginnings, When did you first realized that you wanted to be an artist?

a)I've always been interested in art from as far back as I can remember. My mother was, and still is, a solid foundation for creative expression. Growing up I was surrounded by my mothers' endless arts & crafts projects. I wouldn't say I partook in these projects, but there was an interest. However, in my early teenage years I was more interested in writing poetry; it seemed to come more naturally. Visual art has always been secondary to me in terms of importance.

q)What are your tools of the trade and why?

a)One computer. Scanner. Basic photo software. Camera.

I'm under the belief that less is actually more, and that using basic tools can also render an appearance akin to that of some high-tech method. It's not necessarily what photo program or camera you use, but how you use it.

q)Who or what gives you inspiration on your morbid art?

a)90% sexual frustration, 10% mental conflict.

q)Is your artistic background self-taught or did you go to college to study?

a)A little bit of both. I went to school for photography and creative writing, and found it made me more aware of what I liked and didn't like, but as far as building personal growth in the creative realm, it really didn't.

Personally, I prefer the self-taught method, as it tends to diminish preconceived notions of what art and poetry should be.

q)How do you keep “fresh” within your industry?

a)One good way to keep "fresh" is to not pay attention to what defines popular culture, or even underground culture for that matter. I observe, merely observe, and do not try to replicate or recreate what has already been done.

q)What are some of your current projects?

a)Lately I've been experimenting with images of mannequins. They are so human-like, so engrained in culture, so present yet mysteriously non-present. I find them kind of scary in the sense they are a crude representation of humans--they're so vacant and soulless.

One of my current projects is designed to take them out of this realm of vacancy. One image in particular, Dreams of Corrosion (, was created to be a commentary on societal decay.

I continue to experiment with this thought, and how to make this a series without being too redundant.

q)Which of your works are you the most proud of? And why?

a)It would have to be the Graffiti Papyri series I did a while back. mIEKal aND was gracious enough to publish an issue of Xerolage dedicated to these papyric/graffiti images, which, in my mind, took the series to a whole new, exciting level.

In the beginning, I had been toying around with the idea of layering old papyri texts with something modern-day and bold. That's where the graffiti came into play. I believe the melding of two completely different stages in time was most complimentary in an almost eerie way.

q)Are there any areas, techniques, mediums, projects in your field that you have yet to try?

a)There are so many things I've yet to try; it's almost overwhelming! In the future I would like to try my hand at fashion design--something like haut couture for compulsive masturbators. How it relates to my field I am not sure, but there’s always a way to make it relate, or not relate. My art is never truly conscious, so I wouldn’t actually try to force it into a certain mold.

q)What do you do to keep yourself motivated and avoid burn-out?

a)I tend to burn-out a lot, actually. What I do is to not stress out over it. I give myself some time away from the computer, away from books, away from any outlet of creativity, then I go back when I feel the urge to create. Sometimes it takes a little push, sometimes it comes naturally. The best thing to do is to just let it be. Having said that, if things aren’t working the way I want them to work, I scrap the idea and start fresh. I’m really very impatient, so this scrapping of work happens quite a lot.

q)how do you spend most of your free time?

a)I do what one may call “normal” things like play mother, play lover, play underpaid worker, play law-abiding citizen. I play so many things it’s like I’m playing reality.

q)What contemporary artists or developments in art interest you?

a)The works of Theoni Tambaki, Thierry Tillier, and John Moore Williams really interest me. There are others, of course, but each artist is a representation of a completely different artistic style.

Theoni’s work, which graces the cover of my newest chapbook, Metempsychose (Ypolita Press, 2009), will always find a place in my heart. Her drawings are like no other, and I find our works go together nicely without trying--they just be. That’s when you know you have a good pairing, when things just go together without much effort from both parties.

As for Thierry’s work, I think he offers something extraordinary in the way he approaches collage. The out of place eroticism of his work appeals to me on many levels.

John Moore Williams is an amazing vispo illusionist. What he does with words brings vispo to a whole other level. I’ve enjoyed watching his work progress into something quite unique over the years.

q)We really like some of your pictures, how can we get our hands on them? Do you sell them? How?

a)To be honest, I don’t really relish the idea of selling my work. I do have a book, Sensoria, which is a collection of colored digital art I’ve done over the years. The only reason I made this book is because I wanted to see if my art looked as good in print as it does on the screen; it was merely a test of sorts. As far as selling my work, I am at a point in my life where I do not feel it necessary to sell what should be free to access for anyone who is interested. If anyone is interested in obtaining a copy of any of my works, just send me an e-mail with your mailing address, and I’ll send you some work.

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