Matt Wright

Artistic Flint & Steel: Sparking Cross-disciplinary Combustion
Type of work
Visual Arts
New York

Sign painter Matt Wright photographed the city’s historically significant signage and with faculty partner Vicki Mayer they collected stories about existing signs from neighbors and sign painters to be included in Vicki’s Media NOLA project, an online portal for cultural history and production in New Orleans from 1500 to the present. Drawing on his 20 years experience as a sign painter, Wright created new hand-painted signs based on the New Orleans vernacular and turned the studio into an installation of his tongue in cheek advertisements that have since been a part of an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Matt Wright was born in 1976 in Seattle, Washington and has been painting and installing signs in New York City since 1995. His work draws on the vocabulary of paper grocery signs and makes reference to the material of everyday life. These pieces are done quickly, on paper, aluminum, plywood, phonebook pages, and other readily available media using enamel paint.

“Coming from the hustle of everyday city life to A Studio in the Woods was a welcome change. I got the time and space to work at my own pace on exactly what I wanted to. Getting time to take photos of old NOLA signs, interview NOLA sign painters, and work on my own art during my stay here has been invaluable.” – Matt Wright

“The Flint and Steel program allowed me to learn about [Matt’s] craft and those who have preceded him in the region. I learned so much and I think the feeling was mutual.” – Vicki Mayer