Name: Pablo A. Mattey
Nationality: Costa Rican
Tell us something about yourself?
I am 24 years old and currently studying Arts & Printmaking at Universidad de Costa Rica. I appreciate talent in all its forms, love music a lot (especially the heaviest), love nature and I see life as a very interesting and entertaining phenomenon.
Who are you as an artist and why do you do what you do?
My art career is very short. I have tried many techniques and I’m currently finding my personal style. Even though I mostly specialize in printmaking, I take almost any kind of commission because that makes me go out of my comfort zone. I take commissions as a learning experience and as a challenge.
When did you first become aware of your interest in printmaking?
By 2012 I was studying drawing in a minor art academy and start wondering about printmaking because till then I had never heard much about it. Later that year, Costa Ricans were very fortunate to host the whole Francisco de Goya’s The Disasters of War series (we often have to appreciate the art of great masters through books and internet, quite far from the visual pleasure of having the original artwork in front of you) and I was astonished. The next year, I saw a life retrospective of Francisco Amighetti, one of Costa Rica’s more important artists, who was also a printmaker. Then I realised that I wanted to become a printmaker. This is how my printmaking story started.
Which printmaking technique/s do you mostly work with?.. and why?
I like screen-printing because of its commercial approach, and its ability to print on different surfaces. Recently I started printing using screen-printing T-shirts. I’m getting into metal printmaking techniques and so far, they’re pretty good to me. But my favourite printmaking technique is, by far, woodcut. I’m developing my personal style through woodcut and I love its aesthetics.
Do you have any kind of ink and paper that you prefer to work with?
I use offset inks, because it lets you to print in almost any technique besides screen-printing, with little variations on its preparation. I often use Xuan paper (AKA Rice paper) to printing woodcuts, but recently I was introduced to Manila paper (yes, the same manila of the folders) and it works gorgeously for pretty much anything, as long as it doesn’t have to be wet prior to the printing process.
What role does the artist have in society?
I believe that every artist decides its role in actual society. For me, Arts celebrate life in every thinkable and unthinkable way. Arts could break boundaries and taboos of any kind. Artists are heard and seen through their art and it represents their voice. So, the artists’ role is to make others see that life and the world could be seen in any imaginable way. Artists and their art have the task to break any geographical and mental boundaries.