Interview with John "Crash" Matos

1. When did you first become interested in art? Why did you decide to pursue it as a career?
I was always interested in art, but became very aware in elementary school, while on a trip to MOMA that it really came to life. I knew that my future would be in art, whether fine art or commercial.

2. How did you get your start?
I pretty much started on the NYC subway system.

3. How did you develop a distinctive style that separates you from others? How has it evolved over time?
I grew up loving American comic books and early Japanese anime. Growing up in the 60's as a pop art child, it came all together in my head. Graffiti was the missing component that helped me put it all together.

4. What do you hope people gain from viewing your work?
Both the complexity and subtle approach to the finished painting is what I want people to get ahold of.

5. Tell us about the major influences behind your work. Which artists do you admire?
James Rosenquist and Jasper Johns are my influences.

6. Describe your creative process from start to finish.
There's no real creative process, I just take the canvas, prep it, get my references, usually drawings, then I paint.

7. Social media seems to play an important role in your work, as it makes your art more accessible to a larger audience. What are your thoughts on social media and how it influences the way you create? Do you feel as if you have to adhere to a certain persona?
Social media is both a blessing and a curse. Sometimes you need to dial it back. Some people can be destructive with their comments. I just do enough to peak people's interest.

8. What project are you working on now?
I'm just working on commissions and trying to create new things and just have some fun.

9. What advice would you give those who want to pursue their passion in art and develop it into a career?
If your passion is real, go for it. It's not easy, very hard work and long hours, but it's so rewarding at the end of the day.