Artwork touches different people in different ways; while some gravitate towards realistic works and muted colors, others like surreal landscapes and vibrant hues. For people who have a deep appreciation of abstract art—especially the colorful kind that includes many unusual shapes—the artwork of Sir Matthew C. Thompson is sure to both amaze and delight.
Matthew Thompson is an Irish-born and bred artist and poet who currently resides in Cork City where he runs an organization called ART RAIN that he founded in Helsinki, Finland, in October 2001. ART RAIN aims to promote Human Rights and Women’s Empowerment. ART RAIN has over 650 members who have exhibited artwork on all continents, except Antarctica. Matthew’s and ART RAIN’s highlights were: exhibiting around the world in locations such as the Mongolian National Museum of Contemporary Art, Ulan Bataar., City Hall Gallery, Oslo., Marrakech Museum of Art, Morroco, and so on.
Aside from working in the arts, Matthew is also an experienced diver who has taken part in rescue and recovery missions. Recently, Matthew spoke with this Examiner about his experiences working as an artist and his involvement in ART RAIN:
Meagan Meehan (M.M.): How and when did you decide to become an artist?
Matthew Thompson (M.T.): From about 8 years onwards. I loved painting pictures of Lighthouses…Roches Point County Cork, for example.
M.M.: Growing up, which artists/types of art interested you?
M.T.: Landscapes …particularly seascapes. Over two decades ago, Jackson Pollock’s art grew on me, intrigued me: I became curious and bewildered in observation of his paintings and still am. His art is awesome. Klee, Miro, Kandinsky etc. were known Gods of Art to me. I became an Abstract / Contemporary Artist.
M.M: How would you describe your work and what inspires it?
M.T.: Intuitive. I created the paintings ”Genetics” and ”A Bird’s Eye View of the Cosmos”. I exhibited them in Helsinki and Krakow, and to my amazement both were published by the Local and National Press with fabulous reviews. I started my ”Family Series” as a result of a poem I wrote, titled RAPE. This inspired me to create an oil painting of the same name. ”A child fights for freedom” and Happy Family (We are Family) are my favourite paintings. Both 140×90 cms, acrylic…I began in 1997 and finally completed this July 2015.
M.M.: How did you go about getting into galleries?
M.T: Organising Gallery Exhibitions, especially in Art Museums, is influenced by (a) Curatorial, Political and Religious influences. (B) Art Councils, Art Unions & Embassy connections. Also, (c) Sponsorship. Nationality is often of prime concern indeed! Many excellent artists are blatantly discriminated against. Imagine! The Exhibiting Regulations at the UNITED NATIONS NY are undemocratic and discriminatory. The rules for exhibiting are in BREACH of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
M.M.: Do you have a favorite piece? If so, which one and why?
M.T.: Composition V11, Kandinsky.
M.M: What are your mediums of choice?
M.T.: Oil paints.
M.M.: Are there any mediums that you haven’t worked with yet but hope to soon?
M.T.: Perfecting my Gold-Leafe methodology.
M.M.: How and why did you start ART RAIN?
M.T.: Having met and exhibited with many artists from different countries, I realised that some were looking for a new approach in their art outlooks and careers. Upon reflection, I knew that this could be addressed with social responsibility, respect and artistic communion: A unified cohesion, in the promotion of Human Rights through art. Bonding together ethics & principles, artists could promote Universal Rights. This was how ART RAIN was conceived. Our birth colours are the beautiful shades of Respect, Justice and Equality.
M.M.: To date, what has been the most rewarding experience involving your artwork and/or being an artist?
M.T.: Cultural Fusion and Equality/Justice were and are my sources of inspiration and achievement.
M.M.: What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to become an artist?
M.T.: The belief in yourself is your artistic fundamental.
M.M.: Are there any upcoming projects and/or events that you would like to mention?
M.T.: ART RAIN Exhibition on Women’s Empowerment, Gateway Art Centre, Broadway Gallery, 4 West 43rd Street, NYC, will be open to the public from September 26 to September 30, 2015. I have to extend special thanks to its Director, Noah Perlis, a distinguished gentleman of honour, for supporting artists (and aspiring ones) in their quest to exhibit and share exhibitions in NYC.
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To learn more about Sir Matthew C. Thompson see his website here. To learn more about ART RAIN visit ARTRAINASSOCIATION Facebook. To learn more about the Gateway Art Center see here.