Matt W. Moore
Matt W. Moore is the founder of Portland-based design and illustration studio MWM Graphics, working to the credo of ‘range is conducive to growth.’ Like many artists of his generation, Moore’s background has its footsteps in board sports and the art of graffiti, each with their core value of speed, do-it-yourself ethos, enthusiasm for new terrain, and the sheer fun of collaboration. Over the past decade, he’s applied those principles to his bold, graphic aesthetic in media both analog and digital, for projects personal and commercial alike. His drive to push himself in every area combined with incredible work ethic has helped to transform him from a street artist into a globally-recognized name, as he tackles vector illustration, branding, apparel, typography, art direction, packaging, and web design with equal verve. His highly-stylized work is always vibrantly-colored and full of energy and motion.
Moore is no stranger to blending techniques and styles across different media and art forms. He created graphics for the identities of clothing brand Ecko as well as for skateboard brands Nike SB and DC Shoes, and was also part of the creative team at snowboard dinosaur Burton. He’s also designed a background for Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion, created numerous illustrations for Wired Magazine, and is aiming to launch a furniture line in the near future. Now that's some diverse creativity. Since 2008, Moore's been devoting most of his time to private projects - a matter close to his heart. After spending years as a conventional street artist, he has transitioned to creating stunning geometrically heavy vibrant murals with tape and spray cans and keeps developing his more handmade art - much of which is produced during his extensive travels - while responding to the different environments in which he works. Every six months he journeys to a new city to take up a six month residency to create original work inspired by his new surroundings.
His latest project entitled Mosaic Mandala Series: Native Utah Elements, funnels that same creativity into a series of mandalas made from natural totems collected from Powder Mountain and the surrounding valleys in Eden, Utah, celebrating the native color palette of the landscape. ''Everything was right there for me, all I had to do was notice it’s potential. Over the years I have always been drawn to the infinite possibilities of geometric mandala grids. I have painted dozens of them on canvases and walls, designed them with colorful vectors, and even collaborated with a friend on a Robot Rendered Series on paper. A new approach to a timeless concept.' River pebbles and stones, shale, red rocks from high elevations, dead branches from aspen trees, bark from evergreens, cattails from the lake’s edge, dried wild grasses from yesteryear, and cut dead branches exposing the rings of the tree’s life. Moore places the pieces in one-of-a-kind geometric arrangements, a process he describes as 'like playing caveman Tetris.' The resulting natural sculptures are breathtaking. Inspired by and created at the artist residency SUMMIT, a community designed with the vision of creating an epicenter of innovation in the heart of the Wasatch Mountains, the work echoes traditional imagery and expands the definition of folk art.
'During the weeks leading up to the project I brainstormed many different ideas of what I could create, how, and why. Having spent most of my recent years in cities, and many of my recent months indoors during the winter painting on canvas and paper, I decided it was a good play to take full advantage of the sunshine and wilderness and develop a series that would allow me to explore the beauty of Utah while creating work with my hands'. Kinda like painting with mother nature’s paintbrush. Following the SUMMIT mantra, ‘Make No Small Plans’ Matt is already thinking of ways to expand this art project. He recently came up with the idea to make his mosaic mandalas large enough to be seen from an airplane. Whatever the case may be, we intently look forward to any flash of genius that's sure to come from this exceptional artist in the foreseeable future. The other images shown here were created last winter in Paris, France. Year after year, Moore creates a new series of greyscale paintings on paper that explore the evolution of his own visual vocabulary. A lifelong narrative, always B/W and handmade.
See more of his ever growing body of work at mwmgraphics.com
Words. Chris Rambow