Meet the gallery, Jason Matias Gallery, one of Red Dot Miami’s 2021 Spotlight Recipients.
Q. Introduce yourself — who you are and what you do?
Q. What is your background?
A. I’ve been a career artist since 2012. After completing my enlistment as a munitions systems specialist I became an artist. In my previous career, I built and maintained bombs and missiles. As you can imagine, there wasn’t much opportunity in the private sector with that skill set. However, even after earning a master’s degree, I found it difficult to find employment. While in college, after the military, photography began earning an income for me, it began paying some bills. By 2014, I was a full-time artist with collectors on four continents.
Q. How do you work?
A. I do a lot of work alone and in the elements, or at least I did up until 2017. Prior to 2017 I worked exclusively in landscape photography. That is what I’m bringing to Red Dot this year. In 2018 I worked up the courage to begin creating the Aria project. There I work and collaborate with a model to achieve a particular vision. Today, there is nine of these finished works.
Q. What art do you most identify with?
A. I most identify with environmental portraits that convey a sense of solitude or melancholy but are also supported by a thread of strength or courage.
Q. What artist(s) inspires you?
A. This question is like asking which ingredients of french toast do I like the most. It is tough to answer. These three artists that I’m about to name are separated by a wide chasm but, as you get to know my work you might be able to see how they meld together. Among living artists my inspirations are Peter Lik, Ascensio, and Eric Almas.
Q. What is the best advice you’ve received?
A. Learn to love the work. Our minds focus on beginnings and endings. We love them, they define our memories. However, the magic, the alchemy, happens in between those moments and it’s very easy to get discouraged during the trough between peaks. So, find a way to learn to love the distance between the peaks. That was the best advice I’ve received. Still working on it.
Q. When you are not working, where can we find you?