Monday, July 17, 2006
``When I first started painting, I thought I was crazy. People just don't paint with their beard,'' said Matis, 49, dipping his beard in red paint as he spoke. ``Why God would have me paint with my beard, I have no idea. I just do it.''
A brief recounting of his life makes it a little easier to understand why Matis is who he is.
He was born in Cleveland and raised on the West Side. As a youngster, he was sexually abused, he said, by a neighbor. When he was 15, he and his parents and four siblings moved to Hudson. By then, he was already soothing his pain with drugs and alcohol.
His addictions only grew after he graduated from Hudson High School in 1976. Alcohol, marijuana, acid and heroin were part of his routine. He used and he sold.
``Basically, for 17 years, I partied,'' he said. ``I'd run beer in my veins just to feel a needle. Really, I just wanted to die.''
He married in 1986, had a son, and kept on partying until, he said, the Virgin Mary called him that same year. He went to a church, got a rosary, got sober and got a divorce.
....His beard dates to 1998, after his ex-wife was murdered in Arizona. He let it grow as a sign of solidarity with her, and hasn't stopped since.
For about four years after God told him to paint with that beard, Matis said he merely painted and collected his own work. It was his way of expression.
``It's like a healing process,'' he said. ``It helps me express my emotions and feelings.'
His paintings are rather compelling, even though the technique reminds me of that old Batman episode where an artist (Jackson Pollack?) creates his art by riding a tricycle through paint on his canvases.
posted by Sydney on 7/17/2006 05:52:00 PM 1 comments
There was an Impressionist style that came along a little later than Monet, and others we are more familiarly with, that used dots of color to create an image. The object being that everyone sees what they want to see as you step away from the canvas.
By 9:11 AM, at