Tradition Studio: Fine Art by Matt Philleo

About the Artist

"Colorful and exacting in detail, the (art) collection draws the eye and holds its attention." Wausau Daily Herald article

Artist Statement - February, 2009

Artists are people who visually communicate to the world who they are, and how they feel about the world around them. The things that are important to us are the things that we will draw, paint, or sculpt.

Since I was a teenager, I have seen art as a venue for social commentary, just like an editorialist. To communicate the message, I set up my painting almost like a two-dimensional theater stage, placing people in various poses and settings. They are symbols that portray a greater truth.

In the past, my ideas have been completely cynical, focusing on our weaknesses of hypocrisy, pride, and self-deception. Looking back, I think I took some hypocritical pleasure in exposing the evils of our society that displayed the darker side of humanity, a world without hope.

However, in 2001, I had an experience that would forever change my life, and accordingly, the way I did my art. One night, I decided I would read that old Bible that was collecting dust on my shelf. On this particular night, as I read a passage in the book of John, God revealed His love to me in an amazing way. I had been fighting Him all this time, but finally He broke though. This time, I knew I was forgiven and accepted by Him, not because of anything good I did, but because of what He did for me, by sending His Son Jesus to die on the cross to pay the price for my sins. When I die, I will go to heaven. Now that is a great hope, and that's a sure hope. And it's not just for me, it's for any one who will accept it.

This life goes by fast, and we all know it. The only thing that will really matter 100 years from now is where we spend eternity. Since this is so, what can be more important than sharing God's message of hope and forgiveness with people? My relationship with God is the most important thing in my life, and I can't hide it. So now, it has been my goal to incorporate this core theme into my work whenever possible.

No matter what conclusion you come to after viewing my artwork, I hope my message is clear. And I hope that, in some way, my art made a positive and lasting impact on your life.