Matt Frantz

mixed media narrative art painting drawing photography


Matt Frantz is an artist working in Southern California. His art often incorporates a variety of techniques and media. His most recent series include ink on paper, alternate process photography, and digitally manipulated photo transfers onto panel with paint.

His work alternates between stylized figurative work and nonrepresentational imagery. This range is necessary to satisfy both the need to capture aspects of observable reality and to express less tangible thoughts and feelings. Observation, imagination, and expression are the primary adjectives used to describe the motivation or intention behind the work. Single pieces may stray from any given theme or style of other bodies of work because of curiosity and the need to explore creative impulses.

Frantz has a Master of Fine Arts degree with formal training in both fine art and commercial art. He has instructed classes at multiple colleges in composition and color, digital imaging, drawing, graphic design, illustration, multimedia production, photography, and video.

This site is focused on personal work, to function as an online showcase and contact point for fine art and photography galleries.

    Questions and Answers:

    How did you decide to become an artist?
    I gave up on the idea of studying architecture when I found out how much math was involved. Being a stunt man sounded fun but I lacked any special physical abilities and received no encouragement. Playing guitar in a band just seemed too far fetched. So the only thing left was art.

    What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

    Not to judge ideas during the brainstorming phase. Not to be discouraged by critics or self-doubt.

    What medium do you enjoy using the most?
    I do not currently have a favorite. In the past, I’ve been very excited to get a new pencil, a new marker, new camera lens, and new computer software because I just wanted to explore what I could create. For many years, my tendency has been to combine media. At this time, I wouldn’t say I enjoy using any medium. I was daydreaming earlier today (11/13/2012) about being a fossil studied by people thousands of years in the future. Other than spending time with a few people I’d like to see, being a fossil is most appealing thing to me right now.

    What do you believe is a key element in creating a good composition?

    An understanding of the underlying emotion of the work. Sometimes my objective is to create a pleasing image, other times I am more concerned with the feeling that it evokes. Most of what I hear and read regarding composition is based upon ideas that can be applied like a formula, such as “the rule of thirds”. I disregard much of this and prefer to take my lessons from actual images and experiences that cause specific emotions within me.

    Looking at a number of your works there seems to be a raw and slightly haunting quality. The subjects appear in the process of fading. What inspires you and your connection to these images?
    Dreams and memories are a large influence on my aesthetic choices. Both of which have a sense of unreality, while also being almost touchable at times. That quality is something I often desire to capture.