Anthony Mastromatteo

Meet Anthony Mastromatteo of Tallmadge, Ohio

Anthony’s encounters with art really began at Princeton University where he studied art history. He is quick to add that even then he didn’t really experience art.

Courses and readings focused on ideas much more than the object themselves. Things slowly changed for him whilst working at Christie’s in NYC selling 19th century paintings. It was there that he began to marvel at paintings as objects and to fall in love with what painting could be. A gut feeling told him that he could do this too and so he began painting for himself.

It is not often that you discover your hidden talent in your late 20s but for Anthony it quickly became clear that he was a hugely talented painter.

He has since built an impressive career on painting visually delightful still-lives that excite the mind. Each project is deeply researched such that he creates carefully thought out compositions that are supported by substantive ideas. He always paints from original objects and aims to give them a voice. What is more important in this trompe l’oeil game – the painting or the original object?

Well that is part of the fun it for him, to blur that line between original and representation.

A Snapshot View of Anthony Mastromatteo

Favorite Artist: He has been an ardent admirer since his university studies.
Spirit Animal: This is a difficult question for Anthony, as he prefers concrete jungles to nature.  
Secret Superpower: He is particularly empathetic making it easy for him to quickly step in to a person’s skin and understand their point of view, both emotionally and intellectually.        



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Stephanie Visser

Meet Stephanie Visser of Los Angeles, CA

Originally from a small town on the shore of Lake Michigan, Stephanie moved to Los Angeles to complete her studies at Pasadena Art Center.

She began in watercolor on paper and then gravitated to acrylic because of its opaque qualities on paper. Stephanie prefers water media since she can layer and glaze and the build up finishes perfectly. She also loves the immediacy of acrylic, as patience is not one of her virtues.

Painting is a means of communication for her; it is her way of working through thoughts and questions.

Ultimately she believes that life is the great equalizer for all people and, “[her] goal is to inspire or present thoughts and ideas that [she is] personally working through which are inherent to all of us even if the story is unique.” In this way, her paintings are healing compositions that explore life experiences through tone, pattern, light, space and color. She usually creates paintings in a series.

The process with a single gesture that gradually leads to color, shape and form through a multitude of layers.

A Snapshot View of Stephanie Visser.

Favorite Artist: Andrew Wyeth was the watercolorist that first sparked her interest but she has many artists that she looks to for inspiration. 
Spirit Animal: She’ll have to reach deep down into her native American roots to figure that out.
Secret Superpower: She doesn’t have one but she would love to always know who was telling the truth. Wouldn’t that make life easier all around?      



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MB Boissonnault

Meet MB Boissonnault of Los Angeles, CA

Originally from Bennington, Vermont, MB Boissonnault has been living and working as a painter in Venice, California for nineteen years.

She studied at the KunstAkademie Düsseldorf under Dutch artist Jan Dibbets. Traces from the different environments in which she’s lived are visible in her work. She’s inherited the precision and detail of the German painting tradition and mixed it in with the Californian optimism and predilection for light and freedom. Boissonnault works in oil and synthetic paints because “turning a two-dimensional space into an emotional landscape is the biggest challenge I [can] think of.” It is important for her that her work impacts viewers and that they are drawn in and feel an emotion.

Being an artist isn’t necessarily a matter of choice for Boissonnault. “If you’re a painter it’s not an existence that you choose. You just have to do it.”

She’s known that she is an artist since birth and has made it a professional pursuit for over 20 years. And she has received much recognition for her pursuit. Her work has been featured in interior design magazines such as LUXE and has been a popular choice for film and TV.

Collectors include Deutsche Bank, Tyssen, Siemens, the Tennessee State Museum, Chase Bank, the Matisse Family, and Roma Downey +Mark Burnett.

A Snapshot View of MB Boissonnault

Favorite Artist: Eugène Delacroix.
Spirit Animal: Daffy Duck. 
Secret Superpower: Sometimes she knows who is calling her before picking up the phone.        



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Brayden Bugazzi

Meet Brayden Bugazzi of Los Angeles, CA

It has not been a direct road to becoming a fine artist for Brayden, but he has always known that he was creative.

After studying at Herberger School of Fine Arts at Arizona University, he moved to Los Angeles to become an editorial photographer. This profession didn’t fit well and he soon found his true calling as a fine artist. Today he thinks of his old dreams with a smile and a hint of irony, “my dream was to be printed in Vogue in some capacity, but I ended up seeing my art on their site in the company of a famous NYC socialite who was the muse of the mythic fashion Icon from a bygone era, Halston.”

Today Brayden makes vibrant collages of pop icons out of old magazines, newspapers and books.

He begins by ordering books about his subject on eBay or Amazon and hunting down material in local used bookstores. Tearing pages up and cutting out fragments with his x-acto knife, Brayden meticulously builds the work up to get the final three-dimensional effect. From a distance, his art looks flat and representational – anyone passing by can easily identify the subject. But the real joy of his art occurs when you step closer and the famous face fades into a thrilling collection of tiny fragments of old printed material.

Humorous details sprinkle his work – such as the name of Frida Kahlo’s lover (Leon Trotsky) that appears on her lips.

A Snapshot View of Brayden Bugazzi

Favorite Artist: Shane Guffogg.
Spirit Animal: Bobcat.
Secret Superpower:  Patience and tenacity.       



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Javiera Estrada

Meet Javiera Estrada of Los Angeles, CA

Javiera Estrada was born in Acapulco, Mexico and moved to the US when she was 8. She and her family bounced around the country from Connecticut to Atlanta.

She has known that she would be an artist since age 6 when she would draw on the walls with nail polish, much to her mother’s dismay. Abstract things, such as the sound of breaking glass, captivated her attention and made her think of the sublime. She finds the instant gratification of photography satisfying, allowing her to join the real with the ethereal.

Her work originates from her inner terrain, as a “physical expression of that inner nameless world [that her] soul inhabits.”

As a result, each work is a kind of self-portrait, a small reflection of her inner self for others to see. The beauty and intensity of these segmented portraits are palpable and addicting. Javiera has a wide body of work but the pieces here at WhyNotArt are part of recent experiments with the behaviour of ink in water.

Working in black and white as well as exploding color, she captures velvety, ephemeral forms that are tactile yet strictly visual.

A Snapshot View of Javiera Estrada

Favorite Artist: She has so many favorite artists and it’s hard to limit it to one: Frida Kahlo, Sally Mann, Tim Walker, Picasso, Georgia O’Keefe, Diane Arbus.
Spirit Animal: Her spirit animals are the hawk, lion, and butterfly.
Secret Superpower: She can read people fairly quickly and accurately. She has been known to break down people’s personalities and characteristics by “reading” their faces.        



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Peter A. Barelkowski

Meet Peter Barelkowski of Toronto, Canada.

Peter Barelkowski is known for his explorations of the human condition through his minimalist style.

Particularly drawn to the themes of isolation and loneliness, Peter’s signature one-dimensional figures act out alienating scenes in unadorned landscapes. The results are strangely arresting compositions that beckon to the viewer, asking them to pause for a moment to consider what sadness, one of the most fundamental human experiences, can mean.

Peter’s artistic journey began in Poland where he was born. He began to experiment with painting in the 70s when he also established his first studio.

He has a global background in art, having completed courses in Poland, Toronto, Norway, and London. While at the Camden Arts Centre in London he was also a street performer for tourists in the 70s.

His works are in private collections in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.

A Snapshot View of Peter Barelkowski

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Vincent Kamp

Meet Vincent Kamp of London.

Vincent Kamp is a self-taught artist whose raw skill is evidenced by the technical achievement in his works.

He has devoted an enormous amount of time learning how to paint in oils through life drawing, sketching sculptures and copying the masters. Using the exceptional resources available in his city, Vincent took to the National Galleries of London to understand form, color and lighting. The time spent with the masters is discernible in his expert use of oils and deep understanding of lighting. At the same time, his work is incredibly contemporary.

Cinematography has also been an influence and is especially visible in his use of dramatic lighting to set the mood and begin the narrative.

Vincent often turns to underground subcultures for his subject matter, believing that those who exist in the gritty shadows of our cities will always be intriguing. He began his ascent in London’s art scene with a series of portraits of barbers working around the UK. The variously coiffed and often heavily tattooed men provided him with material that cut across social barriers.

In his most recent work he focuses on his love of film in thirty paintings that tell the story of a high stakes poker game.

A Snapshot View of Vincent Kamp

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Christina Twomey

Meet Christina Twomey of Los Angeles, CA.

After creating her first work of art using materials from her local art store on the corner of Pico and La Cienaga in LA, Christina knew she’d found her calling.

What initially began as an attempt to decorate her new home quickly turned into a successful Etsy store and then into an invitation to show her work at RAW Natural Born Artists. And all of this happened just five years ago. Since then, Christina has watched with a joyful mixture of astonishment and delight as demand for her work grows and the requests for commissions roll in.

Today she works primarily in resin, experimenting with the medium’s different viscosities and pigment loads to achieve a wide range of vivid effects.

In addition to uncovering her raw talent for working with color and her keen eye for composition, Christina explains that kick-starting her artistic career has taken a lot of work. As Malcolm Gladwell says in Outliers, it takes 10,000 hours of investment to become an expert in anything. Love for her artistic process propels her forward, as does the passion for creating something for someone.

Ultimately it is the constant challenge that she sets for herself to find her recognizable style and to be unique and original that keeps her focused on those 10,000 hours.

A Snapshot View of Christina Twomey

Favorite Artist: Cy Twombly.
Spirit Animal: A bird so she may soar high and take in the view. And of course, her beloved rescue dog, Kazan.  
Secret Superpower: Her intuition. Being able to connect with her clients on a deeper level provides her the passion, energy & intuition she enjoys experiencing in order to deliver something they love.

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Ant Carver

Meet Ant Carver of London.

London-based artist Ant Carver cites oil and spray paints as his favourite media for their complementary qualities.

Oil paints allow the creation of intricate detailing, while spray paint is perfect for producing looser colour elements. While trained in Fine Art at Oxford Brookes, Ant’s passion for art grew from his interest in street art.

After university, he set up his studio in Hackney Wick, and jokes that he realised he was an artist when he could pay his bills.

Ant continues to be inspired by traditional and street art, and notes that a visit to the pub can cure a bout of creative block.

Ant Carver’s interest in art originated from a passion for graffiti and street art.

His work concentrates on the use of hand painted details, contrasting with bright abstract elements. His work continues to take inspiration from both street art and more traditional styles.

A Snapshot View of Ant Carver.

Favorite Artist: Conor Harrington.
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Katherine Kean

Meet Katherine Kean of Los Angeles, CA.

Katherine Kean’s deep respect for natural landscapes and the weather is evidenced in her work. Cloud formations, rain, and storm patterns are common themes that she masterfully represents in oil.

Her chosen medium brings deep color to her canvases while the longer drying time gives her greater flexibility during the painting process. By working in layers, she slowly builds up the surface of the canvas and creates various textures that enhance the two dimensional representation of three-dimensional phenomena.

With her painting she seeks, “to stir wonder and excitement for the transformative impacts of weather, wildlife, and natural phenomena, all the while revealing the serene center that can sit in the midst of Nature’s turbulence.”

It comes as no surprise then that she was particularly excited to have two of her paintings shown at the National Weather Center Biennial in 2015.

As part of the exhibit, she got a tour of the Center, learned some more about the science, and met other artists who focus on climate themes.

A Snapshot View of Katherine Kean

Favorite Artist: If she has to narrow it down to just one, she’ll go with J.M.W. Turner, but she has dozens of favorites.
Spirit Animal: She has several. Among them, a large red horse, a raven, a bear.
Secret Superpower: She’s been known to make it rain.

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