Matt leine interview

On the occasion of the release of the Tiger Bolts by Matt Leine figurine, encounters with his creator. This interview that took place in English, it is here translated. You can find the original version just here.

How did you come into contact with the ANP? Can you explain quickly how the ANP consists?

I started working with RVCA's "The Artist Network Program" in 2003, at that time I started to expose to Los Angeles. They worked closely with artists from the new artistic scene and I think my work was intense perfectly on their research. At first, we just collaborated on t-shirt designs, but over time we have expanded the range of clothing and now we make this vinyl figurine. The ANP also subsidized several projects in which I was involved for years after years. Exhibitions, Urban Art ... They even gave me a hand on a gallery that I helped lead a few years ago.

Your artistic universe is singular, it draws in symbolism, surrealism and yet it connects the primitive and the modern, do you agree with that?

I totally agree with that and I will add that my art has evolved over time. When I started making drawings like that, I consider them as artifacts made by the people represented on these same drawings. As if a relic of the past had just been discovered. I then started to include more and more images I had exposed. I am collector of images and, in fact, I have thousands of photos that I inspire. And then, my work questions people and it pushes me to investigate. For example, during my first exhibition, someone asked if I was familiar with Ethiopian art. At the time, it was not the case, but it made me curious. Now, seeing how I drew our eyes at the time I understand better the meaning of the question.

You depress an epic, an imaginary world, can you restore us all that?


I would say that it is both without any temporality and at the same time in all the temporalities, especially recently, since I add inspirations from the real world to my work, be it objects that surround me or the themes cultural politico of our time. I'm just starting a new series of works that illustrates this, but I also include allusions at the time of the myths and futuristic concepts ... I particularly appreciate the ambiguity that there may be in my works with a Part immediately familiar but who will give the beautiful part to the interpretation of the spectator through choices of representation.

What do these recurring characters represent, these men with whiskers, these creatures, this tiger ...?


Unconsciously, I think that represents different aspects of my personality. There are some references to images anchored in the past, to favorite subjects or other less personal subjects but that marked me. I tried to expand my palette of characters, and yes I drew far too many moustached men at one time. Today the goal is to be more inclusive possible vis-à-vis the diversity of my characters. But one thing is sure: there will always be more tigers.

To return to the ANP and more particularly to RVCA, how did you approach the idea of ​​creating a collection?

Recently, I worked on a series of black and white portraits. There were heads and shoulders with a very sliced ​​graphic style for the top of the face and a field of patterns, almost like a landscape once under the shoulders. It seemed perfectly suitable for me for a RVCA collection. Faces as a graphic element and repetitive patterns for trousers, among others. Then, the collection started to widen, including lots of items that I had never done before: knit sweaters, sportswear, and even boxing shorts! I wanted so much to clear from other clothing horizons that I could not have been happier. I can not wait to go even further next time.

Before we present you Artoyz, did you already have a relationship to the Toy Design? To some referent artists in the field?

Yes, I am collector of toys although I gravitated around other interests. I have a big collection of popular art and full of vintage plastic tigers in addition to other tips related to my youth. I like the aesthetics of counterfeit toys with their missed proportions and more missed moldings than their paintings. And of course, I also know the phenomenal collection of figurines that Kaws has produced.

Does Letiger Bolts, vinyl sculpture mean something special for you? Conceptualize a 2D work and even its 3D transposition should be a particular sensation, right?

It was so strange as a feeling of seeing 3D rendering for the first time. And this particular drawing I did almost 20 years ago. It was the first t-shirt design made for RVCA. It is therefore a significant image, probably my designer the most seen thanks to the use of RVCA. So see what this tiger looks like from above or on each side, it was a dream for a long time.

If you had the opportunity to convert another from your work to figurine, what would it be?

It's really hard as a question. There are so many characters that I would like to do in figurine. I would all answer if I could.

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