Last year @christianluiten wrote about his studio visit with Matsuyama on Discord so we’ll repost here for those who haven’t seen it yet!
Tomokazu Matsuyama is an artist who we’ve worked with for a very long time and one of the first we did multiple collaborations with. Fun fact, before agreeing to collab with us for the first time James Jean actually rang Matsu to get references on us. Without his good recommendation James might have never worked with us.
I went to visit Matsu in 2018 after seeing his work online. I thought his work would be amazing as print editions but he hadn’t done them for a while. His studio was huge, right in the middle of Brooklyn in New York. I knew he was big but not didn’t realise how big. Some artists are scared to show they work with a team, he wasn't like that. He’s actually really proud of all the people that assist him in creating his art and he wanted to make sure his assistants are also in the photo’s that we posted on our Instagram and website.
He’s a super friendly guy that has an insane focus. Works incredibly hard, is goal oriented and really wants to do things to perfection. He's like an art athlete! His work really shows this mix of different influences. For example that nicki minaj and picasso influenced work you can see in the picture. His art is a hybrid of East and West and has elements of traditional and modern. It really expresses opposites being pulled together, I think it’s what makes his work so captivating.
In one of the photos you can see a Joakim Ojanen sculpture. I did not know Joakim at that time and I asked Matsu who made that sculpture and from that moment he came on our radar. And we now work with him too! Funny how all these artists end up connecting.