BY ANNE WILDE
Matt’s custom painting for the cover of the
Lobero’s BACKSTAGE, titled “LoBerOh,”
embodies an abstract cubism style.
Renowned local artist Matt Rodriguez brings a captivating blend of refined eccentricity and counterculture street art to the forefront.
While studying media arts and web design at SBCC, he also acquired diverse skills working as a lab tech for both the ceramics and geology departments. His first mural, which he collaborated on with John Iwerks, can be found on the retaining wall behind the EBS building at City College.
Rodriguez’s current artistic endeavors showcase a versatile approach, encompassing pen and ink drawings, acrylics, oils, and mixed media on canvas. Rooted in street art within the Funk Zone, his works often take on a life of their own, embodying a metamorphic storytelling process inspired by the available mediums.
Influenced by renowned artists such as M.C. Escher and Keith Haring, Rodriguez often employs either a black and white palette, lots of color, or monochromatic elements in his paintings. The simple icon of a little house is portrayed in many of his works, representing home – simplified into its minute form, but with a human-like playfulness
While observing some of Matt’s artwork, one may sense a type of Rorschach test “call to action,” encouraging viewers to create their own story of what they see. His images often suggest a reminder to appreciate each moment, celebrate life, embrace your community, “Do Stuff,” and “Be You.”
Rodriguez actively collaborates with local organizations and has been Co-Founder/Graphic Designer of Santa Barbara’s Lucidity Festival for the last 11 years. He aspires to extend his artistic impact globally through large-scale murals and installations, while fostering collaboration and supporting fellow artists.
In addition to his artistic accomplishments, Matt was an Outdoor Adventure Guide for 11+ years, worked as an interior and tile design consultant, and he is currently a project manager in the Airstream renovation industry.
Additionally, Rodriguez is a single father to his six-year-old daughter, Rocket Sue, after the loss of his life partner, Chelsea Bets Christenson, to cancer in September 2022.
Matt is grateful for all the support he has received from the Santa Barbara community and beyond. To see more of his work, visit rodriguezartt.com. Matt can be found on social media platforms @Rodriguezartt #RodriguezArtt, is available for commissions of varying scales, and is expanding his brand onto apparel and textiles.
His GoFundMe page for his daughter, Rocket, can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/f/helprocketsueanddad
We hope you enjoy a peek into the Lobero archives.
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