Matt Konar: Shining Star of Roseville, Granite Bay and Rocklin
Gallery: Shining Star [8 Images] Click any image to expand.
Loomis resident Matt Konar’s art career began in second grade when he’d draw pictures of WWII airplanes and sell them to friends for a nickel, but it wasn’t until years later—after being asked at a seminar what he would do if he only had six months to live—that he discovered his true purpose as an oil painter. Now the artist creates whimsical works with unexpected details and the perfect balance between light and dark. Often incorporating constellations and their interpretations, Konar says his “star fascination began with the first Star Wars movie in 1977.” He continues: “I’m intrigued by the ancient Persian and Hebrew names of the stars and constellations.” Showing his work at various art walks and galleries since 2012, he’s also been featured at Roseville’s Blue Line Arts and Auburn’s General Gomez Arts and Events Center (formerly Placer Arts 360), where he earned a Best in Show Award for his piece Jesus in Blue Jeans. Currently, you can view a small sampling of Konar’s work at the Auburn Old Town Gallery.
HLB: What themes show up in your work?
MK: I like to bring the viewer a sense of beautiful mystery, sometimes humor, or meaningful information in coded symbolic form. I use the canvas as a stage to capture moments of love and heroism, as well as times of human folly. The characters in my work come from real life, songs, poems, and stories. I also place each canvas stage under a starry sky with the drama of the constellations.
HLB: How does the community inspire you?
MK: Trees, books, and people’s stories all inspire me. I like to take walks around a large pond near my home and observe the details of nature and the day’s display of clouds. My wife and I enjoy visiting and strolling the area’s various historic towns, as well as Lake Tahoe and the Sierras. We also enjoy dining at various restaurants; dining as a family is very important to us.
HLB: Why is art so valuable?
MK: I think the importance and wonder of art—its beauty, mystery, story, and power—is best understood when one imagines a world without it. [Picture] every wall in a home as blank and gray, every exterior and interior of a building as plain and flat with little variance beyond the practical; without color, contrast, or ornamentation (i.e., art), the buildings, cars, movies, and games we all enjoy would be boring.
HLB: What’s in store for the future?
MK: I’m currently working on illustrations for a children’s picture book, which I wrote using words three letters long or less. I find drawing to be both mentally and physically invigorating, so I’m enjoying this project immensely. As far as canvas, paint and brush, I’m looking forward to continuing staging life beneath the timelessness of the starry skies. The actual art process, for me, is work and sometimes tedious. I find that my greatest satisfaction is in the final painting or illustration. matt-konar.pixels.com
By Heather Becker