Matthew Ryan Herget aka Mr. Herget [Miami, Florida]

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We would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to have this interview with you, and are so happy to have you with us.

Shall we start?

When did it all begin? And how did you first become interested in Murals & Street Art?

I like to think I have been an artist my whole life. I’ve been consistently drawing since I was about three years old. Through my school days I was always the kid who could draw but it wasn’t until 2012 that I really went all in with my art and really made it my entire existence.

Which artist/s influenced you?

I really love old artists like Dali, Picasso, Rembrandt, Monet, Manet, Degas, mostly for their stories, minds, and what they represented but I am even more so inspired by today’s artists. As well as Basquiat. I honestly think the best art ever made is being made right now. People like Conor Harrington, Anthony Lister, and Brett Amory continue to blow me away. All my favorite artists have a fearlessness and confidence in their paintings that I try to adopt into my own work.

What style is your work?

Right now I see it as expressive realism. As well as a constant collaboration with myself through all periods of my life. In all of my recent works, it is a mix  between what I know now and what I knew back then that’s why you’ll have oil painted sections with crayon scribbles all over the canvas. It’s my way of embracing where I came from.

Are there any particular cultures that have influence your artwork?

If anything, probably pop culture. I don’t think my work is “pop” but there are certainly influences in it.

What is the source of your inspiration these days?

I’m super influenced by music these days and myself. That is, I have a huge focus on meditating constantly everyday. I really want more than anything to produce work that truly comes from me so I do my best to silence all the “noise” and listen to what is within.

What do your pieces usually focus on?

Right now my work is focused on bringing that inner giant out of you. My pieces are about finding what is inside everyone. They’re about getting out of the way of yourself and facing your fears. Aesthetically, they consist of mostly animals. I think animals are just like people but to me they represent the most basic of desires and passions. There is no grey area in animal’s emotions. That is why I use them almost as metaphors to what I am trying to say.

What is the riskiest thing you have ever done?

I really think the last four years of my life have been the riskiest thing I have ever done. I have 100% gone all in on my dream and cut all ties to any sort of “fall back plan”. I have gone where I’ve wanted to go and done what I’ve wanted to do. It is the ultimate risk to me I think.

Are you generally satisfied with your finished piece?

In the early stages of my art career I was faced with many personal high and low notes, creatively. As would any artist who is constantly experimenting. I really strive to push myself to be better every single day so I have learned to be patient and allow the natural progression of my skills to catch up with my ambition and vision. Right now, I am extremely happy with the work I am producing and my vision for what is to come. It is empowering, fearless, confident, energetic, and most of all fun. It is as fun to make as it is to look at. I’m very happy with it.

Do you listen to music while working? Or you need a quite environment?

I almost have to listen to music when I work. It’s usually always hip-hop. When I’m building up the early stages of a piece, I’ll probably play the music off my laptop and the volume will be lower but as the piece progresses and I’m in a more expressive state of mind and I’m breaking down the piece and using much more paint, usually I’ll have my headphones in and the volume will be much louder.

Where your work is usually located?

All of my murals so far have been in the Wynwood Art District in Miami, FL. As for my gallery work, I had been working out of my studio in Little Haiti, Miami and now I have a studio in Redwood City, California, where I am currently work on new work.

Do you find it difficult to do your work in the streets?

Not at all. Talking with people can sometimes get you out of your rhythm but I do enjoy it. Every once in awhile someone will approach you and get super deep into conversation which throws you off track though.

Have you ever had any problems with authority cause of your work?

Never actually.

Do you have a formal art education?

I do not. I love it this way. It’s a challenge and it is allowed me to focus on art from within as opposed to art as a “taught” thing. It has also created the opportunity to learn by trial and error and has introduced me to so many experiences that I would have never gone through if I was in school. I have also developed incredibly important skills in dealing with collectors and galleries and overall how the art world ticks. Everyday is an opportunity for education. It’s a never ending process.

Would you rather paint alone? Or do you prefer to collaborate with others?

I like to paint alone. Collaborations on such a large and consistent level are a rather new thing in art. In this sense I am still a traditionalist. I can certainly appreciate a good collaboration but I like works of art created by one artist.

Have you every collaborated with other artists?

Once. I did a mural in Little Haiti, Miami for Art Basel last year with Peter Tunney. That was great because he is a friend of mine and the message behind it was extremely positive for the neighborhood.

Any specific country or two in Middle East region you would like to go to and do piece / or collaboration maybe? 

Right off the top of my head, Egypt would be pretty amazing. I’m curious as to how the galleries are there as well.

What do you see as the future of Murals / street art / graffiti?

I think they’re going to just keep getting bigger and better. There are so many incredible artists that paint in the streets now and it isn’t slowing down. As for my work in the street; I never considered myself a “street artist”, it was always something I enjoyed doing but putting work in a gallery, museum, or home is really where my heart is at. And on top of that, I just don’t like seeing my work painted over. Haha I do want to do a large oil painting on a wall though. I’m very curious to see how that would go. I’d love to do some interior murals as well.

How do you feel about photographers / bloggers in the scene?

I love them. I don’t know enough of them yet!

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