We had the good fortune of connecting with Matt Kaplinsky and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Matt, so before we jump into specifics about your story and work, let’s start higher level. What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
Patience and understanding. Let me explain: It took a long time for me to learn several truths about art and what it means to be an artist. Your work does not go flying off the walls giving you pockets full of cash when you start out, mid career, or even when an artist has “made it”. Being an artist is like putting on a hard hat, picking up a pick ax and becoming a miner. Most of what you will make should not live up to your expectations and it won’t – it’s dirt. Garbage art. But you keep working away putting long hours of swinging a pick-ax into the ground, clearing away dirt, tunneling deep into the Earth and every now and then you break out a gold nugget. Some larger, some smaller. When an artist has seemingly “made it” or become “successful”, they are a miner who has just hit a vein and has lots of gold in his or her bucket. Dig far enough, and this vein will run out, but we keep digging with the hope that the next one won’t be too far behind. This is where the patience comes in. Every artist has to dig metric tons of earth before getting their gold. Some artist hit it right when they start, others take years of what feels like futility. Just like there are no talent scouts in my industry, there are no real treasure maps either (though there are plenty of people trying to sell you one). Artist need to understand that you pick a decent place and start digging. Uncover who you really are and don’t give a care about what anyone thinks or what you might or might not sell. Just dig deep.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I explore our natural history through paint. It might be the environment as landscape, or a closely inspected plant ,floral arrangement, wildlife, or human activity. I don’t know that I have a particular thing to be proud of as my paintings go, but I might say that I have examined who I am more than most people have and would encourage all artists to do the same. Looking at who you really are and what you may do to improve your self is a huge benefit that comes out in your work. I just make what I see the way I see it, that’s it. I am where I am professionally because I work my butt off every single day and even when I attempt to go on ‘vacation’. It is often difficult, but nobody telling the truth would say its easy. I have the best job on Earth though and thankful every day for it. Overcoming challenges only involved me keeping on making the work and moving forward. The biggest lessons learned were patience and humility. We are deserving of nothing and should be grateful for anything however you express that. I would want the world to know that my work is better than ever, I have more collectors than ever, and I am glad to have the opportunity to share what I am doing.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Mostly my home and local restaurants. Its all great here. Then to every museum and gallery in the tri-county area. Eat, drink and laugh… what else could anyone want?
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I dedicate my shout out to all the patrons who have purchased my work – to them I will be eternally grateful – and to everyone representing my work over the years, I love them to pieces.
Linkedin: Matt Kaplinsky
Other: Instagram is my primary social media interface.
Image credits are Matt Kaplinsky, photographer. Artist is Matt Kaplinsky, copyright 2020 all rights reserved. Special Thanks to Jones Walker of Taos for letting me do artwork in front of thier gallery. Also special thanks to NEST Modern and Commerce Gallery for their support.