"I don't want to be another boring artist doing boring things in boring spaces for boring people."
Matt Starr is a New Media artist living in New York City. His art is based around creating a total experience. His work often explores low brow culture and social media culture, and creating a dialogue with viewers.
Let’s talk about your recent series you started posting on instagram?
@mattstarrmattstarr @mattstarrmattstarr @mattstarrmattstarr
For the cast series, I have no direct relation to the products I am using, the prints and logos. I've never owned a Prada Purse or Hermes Scarf. It's partially about creating a dichotomy between these two opposing forces, like cast and pain with opulent and not so necessary. At the core of it is humor. People connect with humor on Instagram. When there are so many beautiful pictures of models, nature, and food it's relief for most to stumble upon something more unexpected. In life and art people are looking for a way to connect and humor to me, is an effective way of doing that.
Regardless of what I’m trying to say or not say with the cast series, there’s a certain humor that allows those images to resonate. It’s interesting to see in a really short period of time, how people reacted to it. I mean it’s ridiculous to see someone in a Louis Vuitton body cast, but that ridiculousness is what makes it so intriguing.
Do you think the fact that you can receive instant feedback on your work impacts the way you will progress a series or work?
If I believe in it, the hopes are other people will catch on. Obviously I'm affected. What artist isn't looking for affirmation through likes and comments? To what degree? - I'm not sure yet.
I live quickly, I move quickly. When I speak, whatever is inside just comes out - for better or worse. It comes out and whatever comes out is just what I have to live with. It’s kind of the same with my art, and this was even before social media, but now I have an outlet.
So do you then publish things without actually being certain of what you are trying to say and then have people’s interpretations inform the work?
Yeah. Well for example the Matt Starr X Kim Kardashian sex tape. I worked on that 60 seconds for about 4 months and I obviously had a lot of thoughts about that. Then I put it out there and the way it was received, just like a lot of work, was not what I thought it would be.
With the cast series, I just thought it was funny. Only after the response did I start to re-conceptualize what it was saying, but also I think people get too caught up with concept. In college I was very caught up in concept and theory. Right now, I’m very in touch with my emotions and naturally I am a very emotionally charged person and a lot of what I do now is based off feeling. I used to be too caught up in concept and wasn’t happy with the work I was producing. When I stopped thinking so much and just started feeling, I became a lot more satisfied with what I was doing. I became more confident in my work and I think something more real came out of that. I think a lot of artists get caught up in trying to manifest these certain concepts and then you lose the emotional aspects, and then people don’t connect. In the end, the art that I make, and want to make, I want to be accessible. I want it to be out there in the public realm as much as possible. I think to do that there has to be emotion and there has to be humor.
The diet installation was done at the DKNY New Art City show which was based on the "Downtown" culture of NYC.
Is diet the only work you have done as a physical product?
Diet is the only thing that I have basically objectified. It was the first time I had to think about putting a price on a piece of art. That changed the way I was thinking for a bit, about the piece while I was making it. Most of what I do is experienced based. I am selling experiences and people will hire me as Matt Starr the artist, not, ‘We like this object,' or 'We like this painting can we have it? Can we buy it? Can we put this on the wall, or in our gallery?' It's more like, ‘Can you transform this space? Here’s your budget, this is what we are looking for.’ Diet was the first time I had to think about objects. How does the price reflect the people who can afford to buy it, who want to buy it, and the type of people that will be buying it. It was weird. It was the first thing I made that you could take home with you. I’m pretty happy though, that it included diet condoms and cigarettes.