Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Opening Night Irvine Contemporary

So opening night was a success! August 8th, 2009 saw the opening night of Introductions5 at the Irvine Contemporary Gallery in D.C. Here's a link to the show information show will be up for the month so if you know anyone in the D.C. area please send them out! There is a lot of fantastic work from other recent MFA grads in the show. I was unfortunately not there because I was in San Diego at my brother's wedding (congratulations Nate and Tertia!) but I heard it was a fantastic evening and event! Someone even wrote about what I do in words that I haven't used before, but I really think it's a well written and descriptive short review of my work:

Matt Sartain

MFA, Academy of Art University, San Francisco

Matt Sartain composes highly-detailed panorama photographs that present strange but accessible narratives, fantasies, and allegories involving a central figure in a deep-focus landscape. Each image is full of visual surprises and presents a convincing fictional world where nostalgia, the hyper-real, and the surreal converge.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Back in Town, Blogged About, and a Gallery Show!

Well I've been away for a bit, traveling the great state of California in search of new and wonderful locations.  I traveled to the great American River, the Ghost Town of Bodie, the mysterious Mono Lake, the beaches and hills of Santa Barbara and the epic coast of Big Sur.  It was a wonderful and inspiring experience.
When I came back to San Francisco there was a lot of news waiting for me.  The first thing I noticed was the number of blogs I have found myself in.  I wanted to forward these on because if you like my work, then you might like these peoples blogs.  Check out some here:

The first and 2nd postings are in english, the next two are in spanish and the last one... i'm not sure about.  I love that the internet allows people from all over the world to view my work.  I'm particularly happy about getting so many hits in Spain and Asia, two places I've never been but want to visit badly!
It's funny, again, I love translating these pages, they always create funny and sometimes poetic expressions - you couldn't write this kind of stuff.  I noticed the 3rd link had quite a lot of comments which I took as a great sign of how my work can create discussion.  BUT as i shortly found out the first couple comments are about the work and the 3rd and following 20 or so comments are all about Lost, the TV show! I'm not mad because I like that show too.

In other news I'll be having my first gallery show at the Irvine Contemporary Gallery in D.C.  Martin Irvine, who represents a number of great artists like Shepard Fairey and Kahn/Selesnick, contacted me about being a part of a group show for recent MFA graduates.

I'll be the only photographer in the show and the rest of the artists are all really great and inspiring at their respective crafts.  The show is called Introductions 5 and it opens on August 8th -  I won't be able to be present because it's the same day as my brother's wedding! (congratulations Nathan and Tertia!) but if anyone is in the D.C. area it should be a great show.

More later!  Until then, and in earnest,

Monday, June 29, 2009

HOW Design

Check out my image on the cover of HOW Design Magazine.  It's available in the stores now, it's got some other pictures of mine as well as an interview.  Cool huh?

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Hunchback

Here's a recent photo I've created.  This one is called The Hunchback.  Pictured is a man/creature who lives atop a lonely mountain overlooking a city in which he is not welcome.  Sadly this creature spends most of his time vying over the city with unreciprocated affection and admiration.
With this image I was aiming to illustrate the emotions that an ostracized creature might feel.  To me, this image is very sad.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The New Website, and Graduation!

Hey Everyone,
Check out the new mattsartain.com.  It's just launched today, packed with some new images and a new look.  You'll also notice it's simpler, and doesn't have the annoying "edu" stamp on the bottom... know why? cause I graduated!
I now have a Masters of Photography from The Academy of Art University. 
Suppose it's time to move on to the next stage of life.  It's a bit funny when you're 25 and you've spent your entire life in school... never really taken a break... it's a mixed bag of feelings when you're trying to make sense of it all.  I sure am glad to be done with school because I have felt for a little while now that I've learned what I came there to learn and I've been ready to graduate for some time.  That being said the university has offered me invaluable help towards defining my style and approach to photography.  
The most important step now is to get my book in the hands of as many people as possible.  My portfolios are printed and I don't expect them to just sit in my apartment.  Now that my focus on my final project and the task of finishing the responsibilities of a master's degree are complete, things are a bit simpler, the only focus now is getting work.
It's a new frontier!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Novelist

Here's a new shot for my portfolio.  I've been sitting on this one for a while while I worked on some other things.  I posted the behind the scenes shots for this a couple months ago.  This image illustrates the task of compiling a life's work.  Some of us have a heavy urge to leave something behind and this gentlemen is working very seriously on his.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Balloon Ride!

Here's a shot I've finished recently.  It's the story of two young orphans who've snuck out at night only to discover a very curious character who's beckoning them to join him on a wonderful sky adventure.

Friday, March 6, 2009

just an update..

So I've been a little absent around here while I've been working out there.  I've got a few new shots that I've been working on that will be updated on here and my website in a little bit.  I'm going on a trip of the south west and I'll surely come back with lots of assets like sky's and clouds and mountains and deserts.  

There's been some more attention and awards for my images recently.  I got 4th place in Photographer's Forum Best of College Photography Contest and was inducted into the Nikon Emerging Photographer's Hall of Fame.  I'm a finalist in Digital Photo Pro's Emerging Pro competition, still waiting to hear back from that one.  Also got an honorable mention in PDN EDU contest.

An another note HOW magazine came to me to do a feature on my work as they are highlighting work from young creatives.  The issue won't come out till July but I'll mention it again when it does.

Until next time, thanks for checking out my work and supporting me.  The comments are always appreciated and I love that there are people out there that like my work enough to follow this blog and stop in and say hi from time to time.  Thanks a bunch, I really appreciate it.

In earnest,


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sunny On A Rainy Day (Behind the Scenes)

Here's a behind the scenes look at a recent photo shoot.  Thanks to Chris and John for sticking it out in the rain!

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Miracle

Here's a new shot.  It's the story of a man once crippled by an affliction. He's found himself miraculously healed and able to walk again - and in his elated state - starts to dance.  Perhaps it's a glimpse within the desperate imagination of someone still bed ridden, or maybe it's the real deal.  What do you think?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Interview and Feature in DPI Magazine

I was featured in a great Taiwanese magazine called DPI.  It was a lovely spread so I'm going to share it with you guys.  There's even a shot o' my mug!
I've added the interview below, so please enjoy!  

1. When I see these pictures, somehow I associated the scene with circus, but what or who would influence and inspire you in creation most?

This project originated with the idea that I wanted to illustrate strange people on a long and epic journey to find a place to belong. Originally I photographed real people, as they were. The people I chose were unusual and some of them did come from the circus but it wasn’t until I began creating fictitious characters that the project became more about my imagination and less about my observation.
The idea of the circus always symbolized a runaway fantasy – a troupe of gypsies that live a strange and wild life. I understand how people can feel like they don’t fit in and I wanted to show people on a journey as they search for a place to call home.

2. What is the first consideration when you do the composition?

I always start with the biggest, grandest idea and then, if needed, dumb it down to a level at which I can actually produce. Being able to shoot things separately has really opened up a lot of creative opportunity and has altered how I imagine images. It is also very challenging to make sure that the things that are not really together end up looking like they belong. I don’t want any of my images to look fake – the real fantasy is only achieved when you think what you are seeing is real.

3. In most of your works, the people are facing wild nature view alone, any particular meaning of it?

There are many reasons for this but mostly the idea of the wilderness is there to illustrate the journey. I love adventure and often adventure takes place outside the safety of civilization and the adventurers must face the unknown wilds of the wilderness. There are a lot of images of people alone because often times the most important journeys must be taken alone.

4. What is your design process? (I call it “design” because what you do is not only taking photos, but creating scene of stories.) Do you ever reflect real story happened around you to photos? If so, can you share the most impressed one to us?

I usually make a rough sketch of the layout and then identify what elements are needed. I need to figure out what can be shot at the scene and what needs to be shot later. Sometimes the photographs are one shoot, with little Photoshop, and sometimes the photographs are completely fabricated using dozens of different shots.
Most of the ideas of these images come from wanting to illustrate some sort of symbolism. All of the images illustrate concepts and ideas, for example The Pack Rat illustrates the struggle of the journey while carrying a heavy load. The load can be memories, regrets, or even material possessions – it can all way you down.

5. Besides photography, what are your interests else? Are they involved and plus to your work?

Besides photography I am also a musician in a band that is lucky enough to travel the country. This helps me because I get to see a lot of different places on tour and I always bring my camera. I am currently working on an image that is a stormy seascape where I’ll be using the clouds and sky from a thunder storm that I shot while in New Mexico.

6. So far which is your favorite personal work? Why?

I don’t have a favorite because I always know that I will improve and usually I can find faults in my work. I am always trying to make sure that I keep pushing myself for better work so I don’t want to ever be too satisfied with myself.
If I did have favorites the two that stand out to me are The Librarian, because the person in the shot is a great friend of mine and it illustrates him perfectly, and The Birder because it is a very old shot and I am not sick of it yet.

7. What is your dream?

I’m not sure. I have a lot of dreams I think. I want to keep elevating my photography until it reaches a point where I am competing with the best photographers in the world. I want to work enough so I can retire at a young age and help support my parents and family. I want to direct commercials and movies. Go on a safari. Create a charity. Make a children’s book. Own a castle on an island. Have a farm with a lot of dogs. Be in school forever and earn a degree in everything. Make some sort of lasting difference that has a positive effect on people. Lots of stuff! I’d like to be a respected, well liked and decent human being that people are happy to know.

More Asian Love

Here's a link to something awesome.  More hilarious translations, scroll to the bottom.  My personal favorite is "In fable sofa very good picture ha ha"