Classic Posters Interview with Mat Marello by Michael Erlewine
Classic Posters Interview with MatMarello by Michael Erlewine
Michael@Erlewine.netArtist Name: Matt MarelloBirth Date and Year: August 17, 1960Birth Place: Reading, PennsylvaniaMichael Erlewine: WHEN and HOW didyou get interested in art in general, andposters in particular?Matt Marello: One of my mother'searliest recollections of my interest in artis when I presented to her a series of"nude" drawings around the age of 6.She wanted to know where I found the"inspiration" for the drawings, and I toldher in "daddy's magazines" I found inthe garage. From that day forward I wasknow as "the artist," and always thoughtof myself as such because of it.Needless to say, the magazinesdisappeared, and I went out in search ofnew subjects.As an undergraduate student at thePhiladelphia College of Art, I becameparticularly interested in public art -street performances, happenings, etc.My senior thesis project was a series ofstreet posters, one new poster a weekfor 9 weeks "exhibited" on the streets ofPhiladelphia. They were child-likedrawings with sayings like "I cut meat fora living" and "My dog throws up beef." Itcreated a big stir because some left-wing radical wrote an essay in localpaper deriding the project, arguing thatstreet posters were traditionally a tool ofpolitical expression, and not a tool for"self-aggrandizement." Needless to say,the project became a hot topic andbrought me a great amount of attention.One day I was approached by a localclub entrepreneur, Chris Boas of theLove Club, wanting to know if I would beinterested in creating a series of postersfor his new club. Broke, I agreed, andthe rest, as they say, is history.Michael Erlewine: What kind of artinfluenced you?Matt Marello: That's a tough question. Iwas raised in a lower middle classfamily (my father was a truck driver), somy exposure to art while growing upwas very, very limited. I did, howevercollect "monster" magazines - Creepy,Eerie, Vampirella. I'm sure these had aninfluence on me. When I went off toschool, the exposure to art history sweptme up and thrashed me about for awhile - Dada, Abstract Expressionism,Pop - it all had a profound effect.Michael Erlewine: What concert-postersartists influenced you?Matt Marello: I suppose at the time I wasinfluence by the punk-posters that werecoming out of London, but not so much.They were a bit messy for me, a little tooaggressive. I've always gravitatedtoward things with a bit of humor.Michael Erlewine: What was your firstconcert-music poster (date, venue,bands)?Matt Marello: My first poster was ageneral announcement flyer for a newclub called "LOVE" at South and Broadin Philly. As the club evolved and startedto book bands, I began to do properconcert posters.Michael Erlewine: What are the mainvenues you have done posters for?Matt Marello: The Love Club, The EastSide Club, Ripley's, The Kennel Club -all in Philadelphia.Michael Erlewine: What are the mainbands you have done posters for?