Ahead of his second solo show, Tree Growing From His Ear at London’s Red Gallery we caught up with the award winning street artist Jakub Matuska aka Masker to chat about his work, what inspires him and what other artists he looks up to…
What tools couldn’t you live without?
Ballpoint pen, Chinese brush, Spray paint.
What inspires you?
When I was a kid I liked the pictures in books like Human Body, or technical stuff like schemes of turbine, planets, light spectrum etc ..
From Time to time I get influenced by sad or ironic moments from my personal life.
It also always helps me to look at works done by my favorite artists like Picasso, Francis Bacon, Bosh, Charles Burns or early art by Miro.
I also follow some graffiti writers or skateboard designers.
Sometimes I have absolutely clear idea how my next painting should look and I am trying to develop this idea on the canvas.
The process takes time and the original idea always change a bit. I usually keep trying to get the idea on the canvas and sometime it takes two or tree times to achieve that, so that’s why my artworks look like having more layers and stories fusing together in the final piece.
What motivates you?
I usually start feeling quite bad if I don’t do anything for 5 days or so. I get scared that I maybe forgot the ideas I have for that particular artwork. I also like to try new artistic techniques all the time. This helps me to improve the process of painting, keeps it and me focused also helps to keep enjoying what I do.
What would you be doing if it wasn’t art?
I don’t know. I just knew that art would be for me more fun and pleasant thing to do rather than going to work so I focused on this from the age 14 if this didn’t work out I would be probably working with for my father at his family run microbrewery called Pivovar Matuska.
What other artists do you look up to?
This question was partly answered above. I also like George Condo, Marcel Dzama, Ahmed Alsoudani, David Shrigley, Tom Sachs’s sculptures … it’s really hard to say as there are loads good new artists emerging almost every day .. I get influenced by Chinese and Indian ink drawings or ceramic art I have seen in China. My favorite Czech artists are Josef Bolf and Kristof Kintera.
When and where can Londoners next see an exhibition of your work?
Red Gallery in Shoreditch, private view is on Thursday 3rd May from 7pm.
Tree Growing From His Ear runs until 13th May.