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STUDIO VISIT:
MATT CAPUCILLI: THE UNLIKELY ARTIST   

East Village, Manhattan, NYC


When you think of an iPad/iPhone app developer, an aspiring artist does not necessarily come to mind.  Assisted by technology to make up for a lack of artistic training and surmountable time constraints, Matt Capucilli transforms his East Village kitchen into an unlikely studio to create definitive canvasses almost exclusively exploring the female form.  

Be sure to check out Matt's work in his show opening this Thursday at Lolita Bar, located at 266 Broome Street beginning at 9:00 pm. 

You have a day job in the tech world—how did creativity creep its way into your life?

I have enjoyed making things since I was a kid. One major turning point in my life was when, at the age of 12, I found an acoustic guitar in my Father's closet. It took me a while but eventually I became able to write and play my own songs. The expression liberated me in ways I had never felt before. I continued to put a lot of energy into art and creative writing classes in high school... I even built calculator games and gave them to my friends. After college I found my calling in the tech world because I realized programming allows one to create nearly anything.

Composure                         On Fire Revised

How much time do you set aside to work on your artistic practice, how do you break up your creative time?

For each of my three collections, I carved out about a month to work primarily on painting. I find this to be an effective escape from my other projects. Also, leaving large intervals of time between collections allows me enough time to decide on the direction of the new collection. I like having a deadline to work towards, so I usually go into production after booking an upcoming show.

When did you first begin to express yourself creatively. What was that like?

I was lucky enough to get a lot of support from my parents and teachers. This is something I feel very fortunate about. It was an overwhelmingly positive environment which allowed me the freedom to explore my own mind and expand my skill set in multiple directions. Even during failure I was able to realize how important it is to challenge yourself and be unafraid to jump into new territory.

Can you describe your process a little bit? How does an idea wind up on the canvas? How did this process develop?

I start by snapping photos. Then I experiment with them in Photoshop until they are proportioned and framed to my liking. Lately I've been tweaking them to achieve more abstraction. I then project the designs onto canvas, sketch them, and paint them. This process started mainly because of my limited technical skill as a painter. I had ideas, so I had to find a way to make them into realities. By leveraging my computer skills I was able to come up with an overall plan and execute it while achieving some degree of success in my vision.

Can you talk about the series you're working on currently?

My new collection is a slight departure from my previous work. I'm trying to incorporate more abstraction and distortion in the pieces. The collection is supposed to represent how our perceptions and beliefs shift during major changes in our lives. I've had a turbulent year and so I've been noticing new things, struggling with internal battles concerning my core beliefs about people, and analyzing what I really want out of life. I tried to move away from portraits in my second collection as well, but this collection should show more success in that area.

All of your work has been figurative in nature and exclusively depicted women—what has been the motivating factor there? 

I enjoy women. I think they are beautiful and mysterious.

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You have a show coming up in a venue you've shown in before, what's the story behind it?

Last year I approached the owners of a bar in the LES and showed them my first collection. They were responsive to it, so I asked them to host my second collection. It was a very good experience and I sold several pieces during the three-month show. I'm happy to be back because the owners are great people and they really appreciate artists.

You have the ability to write your own story—what do you hope the future holds for your creative career?

I aim to spend majority of my time creating projects that inspire me and motivate me to do well. My goal would be to impress my peers and hopefully gain the respect of people who have never met me. I'll just keep putting out various works and we'll see what the future has in store.

Want to program our iPhone app? Just kidding. See you at Lolita.

InspectionPut TogetherSo What Break

Text and photography by Dan Teran for Artsicle.

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