Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lovers Lane

Lovers Lane: Matt Johnson

Meet my friend Matt. Matt is a Southern California artist living the classic 'Kustom Kulture' lifestyle, with his lovely wife Naya and their two adorable kids, Natalia and Tosh. Matt and his family live and Love a life full of appreciation, for the ocean, the environment, and their community. Every weekend, you can find the Johnson family on a beach in Laguna, surfing the waves and enjoying the beauty surrounding them. And every night, you can find Matt in his garage, pin striping his latest treasure for a Hot Rod, and rockin' out to the classic sounds on his amazing vinyl record collection. 

Right now, you may be a little confused: Kustom Kulture? Pin striping? Hot Rod? (I know I was when Matt was first introducing me to his art.) So here is a little history for you: 'Kustom Kulture' is a lifestyle term founded in the 1950s that refers to the artwork, vehicles, and fashion of those who drove and built custom cars and motorcycles in the USA from the 1950s to today. Pin striping is a painting technique used to create one's own custom look on auto bodies and parts. And a Hot Rod is a term that "seems to first appear in the late 1930s in Southern California." Hot Rods are old cars that have been modified using original parts and follow styles that were popular from the 1940s - 1960s. 

Matt takes his Love for Hot Rods and his talent as an artist and creates beautiful pieces of art using salvaged junked garage parts and enamel paint. How cool is that!? 

Matt used salvaged wood from the dump to create the frame to showcase a cut out from a 1940s Coca-Cola cooler. He added his signature touch by painting a 1920s Ford Truck on the front in true art deco form.  Did you know that enamel paint is also referred to as "hobby paint!?" So fitting for Matt's art! 

Matt painted a pin up girl on the "extra doors" of a 1927 Ford Model T Roadster.

Matt found the old school gas cans and the tool box with the perfect patina in a dumpster. 
He sees the three items together to create one amazing piece of art. 

Matt says that this paint thinner can took so long to go through that he didn't want to just throw it away. 
So, he turned it into art! 

Matt took 22 gallon oil drums, used as trash cans in many auto garages, and did his thing! 
If you have a trash can in your work space, why not make it functional art!? Genius.

Matt took these Band-Aid containers used in garages to hold nuts and bolts and embellished them with art! How cool is the wear on these tins from years of opening and closing!?

Matt's Grandad's vintage hand saw painted with "figures in motion."

A classic pin stripe on a Suzuki motorcycle gas tank.  

The Collection

Matt's Hot Rod

Matt's Garage

When asked to answer questions for the Lovers Lane Questionnaire, Matt quickly turned them into a conversation. A perfect example of how Matt can take anything and make it way cooler than it originally was with his signature style and talent.

1. Where do you find your daily inspiration? Growing up in Laguna Beach is what has made me, and all the people I know, artists. It's a creative and expressive place. I am lucky to to be surounded by so much beauty. I am inspired daily by music, images, people, other art, all kinds of things. 

2. What is your most treasured item in your home? If I had to grab something while the house was burning down, it would be the ceramic hand prints of my kids.

3What is your favorite comfort food? Maybe ice cream.

4. When did you realize that you were an artist? The high school team was named 'The Artist.' When my older brother got in a fight during a soccer game because another player caller him a @#$% artist, that's when I associated myself as an artist. I feel like that's who I am; so if you dont like it, not my problem.

5. Best advice you ever received? Best advice I ever received was from the music I grew up listening to. The music from Jamaica. I also went there when I was 10. It has made a lasting impression on me. One Love, One World.

6. Your best advice to an aspiring artist? Stay true to yourself.

7. What is one thing people would not know about you? People might not know that I lived in Wyoming for a summer after my freshman year in highschool. Peeling tree bark with a draw knife for .50 a foot. I earned enough money to buy my first car - The 67' Cougar.

8. Are you a Lover of Vintage? am a lover of vintage. It is our history and our culture.

9. Where can we find you next? (Blog Lovers get attached easily) 
I am planning an art show with some friends soon. I will post it on my facebook page.(or you can email Matt here for more information.)

10. What is your favorite thing to wear? My favorite thing to wear is my Grandad's hat. It reminds me of him. He was a classic!


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