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Painted Brain | Inside Voices: Pb Artist-in-residence, Jesus Matias
We're bridging communities and changing the conversation about mental illness using arts and media.
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  • April 1, 2015

Inside Voices: PB Artist-in-Residence, Jesus Matias

(interviewed by James Giaquinto)

I’ve been a part of the Painted Brain since I was 20 or 19 when Dave was teaching me how to do art at one of the groups he was doing at another center. That was five years ago. Two years later I was introduced to the Painted Brain office. Since then I’ve been participating in groups. Two years ago I started volunteering my time running my own art group where I teach people fonts and stenciling. At one point early on I had to stop a bit because of bad things I was doing. But then I decided that there were better things to do with my time like making art for Painted Brain.

I would say my style is “outsider art.” I’m self-taught like many street artists. I started out by doing graffiti or any kind of outsider art. I would use anything I could find like a marker or a crayon. Crayons were the things I used first, anything you can write with. It was called “putting in work”. You go out there and you put your stuff up because you want to be recognized by people who can see it. You see what kind of reaction you can get from the people. All you needed was a crayon and a metal sheet. That’s how it started for me, just writing my name on this metal sheet I found.

At the Painted Brain, I get a safe space to create and the freedom to express myself. I get artistic choices and creativity collaboration. Another thing is that I can get the opinion of others when I’m here, like when another artist gives me advice about something I’m working on.

I just had a moment that made me think of our theme, Inside Voices just a little bit ago when I was collecting material for the art show, I was collecting wood. My inner voice said to me, “Collaborate, experiment. There are more materials out there that you can work with. Use the materials that you have around because you don’t just have to go and buy the materials that you need for your art, use what’s around you and make art from that.”

This will be my first art show experience. I think this is a really good learning opportunity. I hope the people that see my art will think, “I wonder what he was thinking when he did that.” I think people should come to the show because what they will see is unique and I haven’t seen anything like it in a long time. Not since the ’70s from bombing the trains, that means putting graffiti on them, with different colors and how the colors are mixed. People can have a different experience. Getting their opinion on the artwork will be nice. What is interesting about art is knowing that there is no knowing what you’re doing with art. That means that someone else could be doing the same thing.

Inside Voices, an exhibition of original art by Painted Brain artists-in-residency Amer Azad, Lawrence Rozner, Bugk23609, Tristan Scremin, Jesus Matias and Ashley Cherry will be held on May 9th, 2015 @ 7pm

Monkspace, 4414 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90004

While admission is free, all donations will be met with undying gratitude.

Food and live music will be part of the festivities, so plan to arrive early and stay late.

For more info: emilyaha@usc.edu

Name: James Giaquinto. What does he do? A long and winding road has led James to the
Painted Brain where his talents as a musician, artist, and writer are utilized for this awesome
and involved community of artists, and he is a frequent contributor to Painted Brain News.

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