Excited to open my studio along with all of the other MFA candidates to show off all my latest work!
Otis College MFA Open Studios 2019
join artist matt hollis for a celebration of materiality and the unavoidable truths of precarity and uncertainty as they play out in his odd, colorful, soft-sculpture creations. his abstract-organic artwork exposes the body for the assemblage of malleable material it is, placing it in its rightful place among all of the other elements in equal anonymity and entanglement, forever porous and morphing...
"the ecstasy of undoing"
Matt Hollis MFA Thesis Show: March 28 - 31 2019
Otis College of Art & Design: Bolsky Gallery
9045 Lincoln Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90045
Opening reception: March 28, 7-10 PM
Hello again, from Los Angeles, California! I have relocated to complete a MFA program at Otis College of Art & Design. I decided to attend graduate school after many years of making and showing work in the DC area in order to take my art to the next level. I'm here to challenge myself and be able to express my ideas more clearly as well as make new connections and put my work in front of a whole new audience.
It has been a whirlwind. I've been adjusting to a new space, intensely producing work, as well as questioning and rethinking everything I thought I was sure of. Being here has so far given me a lot. I have one-on-one meetings with amazing faculty, intense hours-long critique sessions, challenging classes in art history and theory, and personal studio space.
I have completed two new sculptures since I began in the fall. The first is a free-standing sculpture made mostly of artificial flowers and greenery. Its slightly anthropomorphic organic forms are balanced on "legs" made of splintered, sharpened, and brightly-painted shards of wood jutting out from the form like some kind of defense mechanism.
With my latest piece, I started experimenting with soft foam as a sculpting material. Soft sculpture has always been my preferred form and it is fun to explore it further. The piece was "finished" for a recent critique, but I am now reworking it for next month's Open Studios.
I'm missing DC, but LA is entering into my work in some surprising ways. You can see the first sketches, photos, and video of my newest work on my Patreon page. Also see sneak peeks of my newest work, glimpses from the studio, and all my other California adventures on both Instagram and Twitter.
With my new Patreon campaign you can help support my art-making process by pledging as little as $3 a month to gain access to fun bonus content, exclusive videos, and even discounts on artwork!
I started this Patreon in conjunction with my recent acceptance to Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles for an MFA program I'll be starting in the fall. I am asking for support to offset the costs of affording rent, website hosting, and simply having the materials to keep creating my unique fantastical, botanical artwork while working and attending graduate school.
With your support I want to include you in my exciting journey to share my experience going through graduate school and entering into the Los Angeles art scene! With behind the scenes videos, access into my sketchbook, and other exciting rewards you can follow along as I begin the next stage of my artistic career! Thanks so much and I cannot wait to share my journey with all of you!
Florilegia is a collection of past and present works which I’ve combined and reimagined into something entirely new for the Otis Street gallery. With this show, I took inspiration from the accumulation of artworks built up in my studio over the years, which has become something of an ongoing installation project. I like to think my floral-inspired sculptures, wall-pieces, and installations grow on their own, morphing and slowly taking over any space they inhabit, demanding attention and admiration. By layering hundreds of artificial flower petals, I create bold floral hieroglyphic symbols or abstract-organic shapes that appear to undulate and spill forth their strange contents. My work comes alive when presented en masse, so that viewers are immersed in a fantastical, jungle-like setting where one is not-so-subtly reminded of the awesome power and allure of nature. More Info here.
UPDATE!! The show got a mention in the Washginton Post you can read it here!
Florilegia: Works of Matt Hollis
July 8th- August 5th
Closing Reception: Saturday, August 5th, 6-9 PM, Artist Talk: 7pm
Otis Street Arts Project 3706 Otis Street, Mount Rainier, MD
Super excited to be opening up my studio next Sunday, June 4 along with many more artists at the awesome 52 O Street Studios. This will actually be my final Open Studios at O Street after over 10 years living in and creating art in my fantastical jungle of a studio here in this amazing old building. I will be relocating to California in the fall to attend the MFA program at Otis College in Los Angeles so if you have never seen my studio, now is the time to come experience my technicolor wonderland before it's gone!
SO do come see my studio next Sunday, June 4, 12m- 6pm @ 52 O Street NW Washington, D.C. My studio is #203B (on the second floor in the middle of a long white hallway). More info here.
Hope to see you there!
Whenever I am not making artwork in the studio, I can usually be found in some garden obsessively taking pictures of everything that inspires me. Considering all of the gardens I've visited over the years and all the photos taken along the way led me to come up with my recent side project Grading Gardens, a garden review blog. Every week (or so) I feature an exceptional garden with a gallery of photos, a written review, and a friendly rating system.
After starting the blog just over a year ago, I have featured reviews of gardens around my hometown of the DC/MD/VA area as well as gardens in California, Florida, and even Paris, France! This blog helps me do something productive with my passion for nature photography and obsession with seeking out inspiring places that heavily influence my artwork.
I was recently invited to create an installation for the entrance of the Transformer Silent Auction & Benefit Party held at the American University Katzen Arts Center. This is a glitzy affair held once a year to raise money for the amazing non-profit gallery Transformer, which has been a big supporter of my work over the years. I already had donated a piece to be auctioned off, but I was honored to create a brand new work for this exciting event.
After visiting the site to get an idea of the space I'd be working with, I began to sketch out ideas of a bold "floral" sculpture that would practically leap out at the viewer. I imagined the essence of nature overflowing, in the form of a vibrant wave washing away negativity and waking people from their apathetic stupor. Once I had some ideas in play, I began to amass the materials and begin the intense production process. I pulled apart hundreds of fake flowers and sewed them into bold graphic patterns on sections of colored fabric. These petalled panels were then wrapped around large sculptural forms of shaped chicken wire fencing and hand-sewn into place.
Finally the big day arrived and we hauled the piece from my studio over to AU. I arrived to find the entryway ready with wall-to-wall astroturf carpeting, green curtains, and an "ivy" wall. After a few hours of adjustments the piece was in place and everything was ready for the big night.
The auction and my installation were a huge success and it was lovely to see so many people come out to support the DC art scene.
I am so excited to be a part of this engaging group show "Good and Plenty" opening September 9th @ Baltimore's School 33 Art Center. My sculptural installation piece "wellspring sprung" is a massive furry green cloud spewing forth streams of floral abundance in bright, crazy colors. This was a major project involving detailed planning, some hardcore fabrication, and a whole lot of sewing! These photos from my Instagram page show the progression from sketches to giant spheres carved from countless layers of foam that were then covered with super fun grassy green fabric. Fake petals were plucked and sewn in endless, overlapping layers to create the flowing floral waterfalls. The show runs from Sept. 9th - October 29th and includes some other awesome artists so it is well worth a trip! More info here.
Super excited to partner with awesome non-profit Transformer and Coldwell Banker on 14th Street for a fun floral window display for the summer! Join us on June 22 for an opening event where I will debut my window sculpture and also have some collage work on display as part of Transformer's FlatFile collection with affordable 2-dimensional works from tons of awesome DC artists!
Excited to be working on some new 2-D magazine collages for Transformer's Flat File Collection. You can see my current work in their collection on my artist page. These collages are a fun compliment to my sculptural works and I think you can see similar themes in both.
After an amazing run as part of the show "Sip & Paint Van Gogh's The Starry Night" at the DC Arts Center this past month, finally brought my piece back to the studio. I was lucky enough to have my work featured in The Washington Post's review as the main image! This was such a fun show to be a part of.