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One of the great legends of graffiti, John "Crash" Matos is no stranger to the evolution of the art form from city blocks to an international movement. Which is what made his inclusion into BEYOND THE STREETS on PAPER so vital. As we looked through the last 18 months and finding an essential medium that spoke to artist's practice during this time, Crash's new works on paper felt like a breath of fresh air. An icon re-imagining his own iconography.   

Has the past year impacted or influenced your work in any way? How so?

I think everyone was influenced in dorm form or another. Isolation can be either a blessing or a curse. For me, it allowed me to search deep and use different mediums. I enjoyed it and still like it,

How has the mood of your most recent work changed or shifted from past work we’ve seen?
I think the mood is still the same. I got a bit more experimental but that’s the curious side of me.

What would you say is the medium that has defined your work as an artist? 
My mediums of choice has always been spray paint, which I still played with, with these works on paper. I draw all the time, but I haven’t really gotten deep into painting on paper in some time.

What does working on paper look like for you?
Working on paper allows me flexibility to handle it much easier than canvas or metal. But that doesn’t mean it makes them less easier to work with, just different.

It seems like in the past year artists everywhere quite literally went back to the “drawing board.” What was that experience like for you as an artist or an individual?
When an artist gets stuck our immediate reaction is to go back and see what we did as if to validate where we are. It’s our insecurity but it’s ok… we go back and research so that we can move ahead

What does urgency mean to you?
Urgency means, for me, to get it done or it won’t get done. Now or never…

Has your relationship with time changed at all in regards to creating?
I’ve always respected time, but now urgency plays a slight role so, I’m more aware of how easily it can slip away.

What are some new hobbies or skills you cultivated in the past year that you have continued to keep up?   
No new skills were formed or developed during our time out.

Any playlists or podcasts you listened to while making your works on paper?Music is pivotal when I’m working, I got deeper into some jazz stuff as well as revisiting 70’s Philly soul.

BEYOND THE STREETS ON PAPER is on view at the Southampton Arts Center in  Southampton, New York through August 28, 2021