Matthew Getz grew up in Southern California in the mid 60's & 70's. He is 3rd generation Californian. As a fairly normal & happy person, Matt hung out, played tennis on the high school tennis team, surfed, studied, worked, listened to the music of & attended great mid 70s Rock concerts.
As a 10 year old kid, Matt was lucky enough to do 2 TV commercials (Kraft Foods & Shasta Cola). This money helped him buy his first car, a used 260-Z. Realizing the ascetic of things, he had the car painted gloss Black! Matt got turned on to Surfing around 16, and surfed a lot north of Malibu, and North County San Diego.
Graduating High School at the early age of 17, Matt was able to leave L.A. to attend U.C. San Diego. This University, along with being able to live and surf in La Jolla and Northern San Diego, allowed Matt to leave the rat race world of high school life far behind. This was important, as this new world allowed him the freedom to enjoy the beautiful environment and surf of San Diego, while opening up his mind to the new things his friends, music, art, girls and studies had to offer.
After a few years at UCSD, including a year off spent traveling around California, and 2 quarters at UCSB, Matt transferred to UC Santa Cruz, where he eventually graduated in 1987. He loved living in Santa Cruz mainly for the beauty of the Redwood Forests and Ocean. The people in Northern California at that time, 1983 were the coolest. Right over the mountains was San Francisco and all it had to offer. The beauty, history and golden light of this area is what truly made Matt an artist!
Based in Santa Cruz, he traveled a lot to San Francisco, and Berkeley to see Bay Area concerts and to study and visit friends at UC Berkeley. Matt studied what interested him, beyond his major, which was mainly neuroscience! He also studied the mathematical forms of evolution, and the physics & chemistry of light. What he studied was really detailed and exciting. Matt states, "I really enjoyed Neuroscience & Physics, especially Light and the mathematical correlation to the forms of nature.
A lot of his artistic ideas are based on physics. The problem was that spending a lot of time on his own ideas, and art, there was not enough space left to compete with the lot of pre-med, straight A students who wanted to get a second PhD in Neuroscience beyong their MD, literally blocking most of his chances to get into a highly competitive graduate neuroscience program. Besides huge funding cuts were happening in the mid 80's, giving the vision as a scientist unfufulling. The rise of Computers and Computer Graphics was also becoming paramount - especially in Northern California!
Early Silkscreen Prints
While attending UC Santa Cruz, Matt had been making silkscreen prints of his art. He grew up appreciating Art Nouveau Posters, Roger Dean, & MC Escher, and wanted to make his own art. Silkscreening images on T-Shirts and making Serigraph Editions was what Matt did starting on 1985. He sold them on t-shirts and posters. These early silkscreens from 1985 to 1993 are all cataloged and the best are available here, and number up to about 50 different prints.
Early Water Color Paintings
Matt started to paint water colors exactly at the time he graduated College (June 1987). He was already making the silkscreen prints and it was a fairly easy transition to get a water color block of paper and draw out an idea and paint it. This is why most of his paintings are illustrated ideas instead of landscapes with perfect rendering. There was a period in 1989 where he set out to paint landscapes and paint directly from nature. He really loved that too, but really used the landscape painting to give his idea paintings better settings. He was living in Northern California then as the first paintings feature the bay area. As he moved to San Diego, and then back to L.A., his paintings featured the settings of the local areas. Matt painted a little over 100 early water colors from 1987 to 1990.
After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, Matt got a job at UC San Diego working in a Neuroscience lab that used 3d computer graphics to model the anatomy of the human brain. He learned UNIX and learned how to program computer graphics in C code. He modeled the human brain at UCSD for about a year in 1988-89, while happily living in North County San Diego. He painted and applied to graduate school in neuroscience.
Wings of Light T-Shirt - Sticker Company
Matt Getz continued to make silkscreened designs for t-shirts and prints after leaving San Diego in 1988. He had a couple of popular designs he offerred on T-Shirts, which sold around California. Finally in 1989 Matt was able to make the major breakthrough design of "Eyes of The World". The copyrighted design is the logo of this very website, mgetz.com.
This design was envisioned while living in Santa Cruz in 1987 whereas Matt saw in the Blue Eyes of a 3 year old child the blue Earth from outer space..(!). To Matt, the earth signified holding all knowledge and all experience of the Earth. Matt hand drew out the design and made an early handcolored silkscreened print in 4/89, MG89-04 which a version later became his companies Wings of Light T-Shirt Logo & Label. It wasn't until Photoshop 1.0 on the Mac came out in 1990, that he was able to use the newly available desktop scanner, a Macintosh computer, and linotronic film output to scan in and make color separations of a photograph of the Earth from Apollo 11. He then used traditional methods to strip the Earth into a photographic stat enlargement of a childs eye. Therefore the final version of Matt Getz's "Eyes of the World design was born!
Since that important moment in 1990, tens of thousands of the Eyes of the World image sold worldwide on Stickers, T-Shirts, Posters, and Serigraphs. This also led to the world seeing the design, borrowing or ripping off the original image without so much as a note of origin, or royalty! The first time Matt saw the image used was on the cover of an umpteenth reprint edition of a Ron hubbard book! He figured that there was no way to fight those lawyers and quietly saw his vision being used on everything from the "CBS Evening News" to video games to even the logo for the "Interactivist" an early organization to defend the "rights" of Net Users. He has pondered enforcing the rights of the design that was copyrighted in 1990, but has done nothing. This website is the first time the story has publicly been told. The final straw came when a fellow poster artist used a drawing of the World inside an eye in a butterfly wing. Matt told him jokingly that I owned the rights to that image and was going to sue him. He retorted, "That the image was an "icon", and had been around for years!"
After "Eyes" came another design "Toast" which started a whole new line of profitable T-Shirt designs that sold in the US, Europe and Japan, under the name, "Wings of Light Graphics". These designs were also made into T-Shirts & silkscreened stickers and sold around the world. The new designs, and income from doing graphic design and short side stints at a Pre-Press Linotronic Service Bureau (learning professional scanning and color separations) and a job at a Photo Calling Card design house supported Matt since college as well giving him training and mastery in the use of Photoshop, Illustrater, Freehand and Quark Xpress.
During the early part of the Wings of Light T-Shirt/Sticker company, in 92 and 93, Matt attended classes at the ArtCenter of Design in Pasadena. He took courses in graphic design, and high end computer 3-d modeling on Silicon Graphics Iris machines. These classes really helped to fine tune his graphic design ability, and brought him up to date on high end film production quality 3D computer graphics, which is something he still wants to produce more work in.
Part 5 Middle Water Color Paintings
Matt visited Europe in 1992, where he continued to paint. Matt states, "Every time I go to Europe, I seem to attain a major transition breakthrough in my life when I return". Matt has really only been to Europe 3 times, first when he was 10 years old in '72, again in '83, and in '92. This time in 92, I had the vision of returning to the France and Spain to just live and paint!
Part 6 Concert Posters
Matt always wanted to do some Posters...! He had been a huge fan of Roger Dean and his YES album covers, Hipgnosis - The Pink Floyd Album covers, as well as the 60's art of Peter Max, MC Escher, and the 60's SF poster artists., especially Rick Griffin and Moscoso.
Having seen a lot of really great art in San Francisco and in art books, and having painted over a hundred water colors and acrylic paintings, Matt knew he could make some very original concert poster art.
In 1992, Matt had been asking an art dealer/producer of Concert Posters, if he could do a poster - having no clue of how it was done etc. She was very busy at that time discovering and producing the Posters of Frank Kozik! She continually had no time for him. He met a friend at a record show in 1993 who was selling concert posters from the 60's, and posters by Coop & Frank Kozik! He bought a couple of common 2nd & 3rd printing Fillmore posters and saw all of the new & amazing Kozik posters at that time (Unfortunately, he didn't buy the early 92 and 93 Koziks and Coops while they were still $20). Matt talked to this guy, Larry Finn about making a Concert poster! Finally, through a connection of Larry's at Goldenvoice, Matt & Larry were finally offered a show in 1994, of a band who Larry knew the guitarist, Cadillac Tramps. They jointly produced the Poster, where Matt did the Artwork and had it silkscreen printed.
The poster was for Pennywise, Cadillac Tramps, and the then unknown bands, The Offspring and Korn. The poster had a optical morrier light interference pattern, which is Matt's theory of biological evolution. At the center, you can make out a bird shape... This led to 24 more posters with Larry, including such great bands as The Smashing Pumpkins, Rancid, The Offspring, Tool, Megadeth, & Corrosion of Conformity, amongst others... Matt parted ways with Larry over artistic and monetary differences after about a year.
After that, Matt did the next 4 posters, hand silkscreening them himself in his garage on a vacuum table built with Jiffy clamps and a used drying rack. Matt did only these 4 posters over the next year.
In 1995, Matt still continued to grow his t-shirt & sticker company Wings of Light. He had "real" t-shirt and sticker printers, professionally printing the T-Shirts and Stickers. He was therefore freed up to do his art and graphics work, operate the Wings of Light business which was becoming pretty big, due to strong contacts, promotion and sales around the world.
Wings of Light Press
Around July, 1996, Matt was commissioned to do a whole series of great concert posters 1 every 2 weeks! He quickly rented a space, built all of the required parts of the shop, and bought a used Sheet Fed Silkscreen Press and learned to use water based silkscreen inks. He pretty much designed and printed 11 posters in 5 months. Working at this heavy pace of a Poster delivered every 2 weeks, he created MG29-MG40. from August 1996 to March 1997.
From December 1996 to April 1997, Matt's t-shirt orders became overwhelming. He devoted all of his time shipping Wings of Light T-shirts & did a little catch up work in his zero spare time, printing Eyes of the World Stickers and a poster for Bush.
Part 8 Poster Pop
At the crescendos of all of these activities, Matt Getz got the synchronous idea with Larry Finn and Coop to start a T-Shirt/Sticker Company, based on Wings of Light, but creating and producing the original and fresh designs of Coop and Kozik on T-Shirts & Stickers! Thus was the creation of Poster Pop and the great licensed T-Shirt and Silkscreened sticker designs of Frank Kozik, and Chris Cooper!
Operating and doing the graphics for Poster Pop has led to a closer relationship with Coop, Kozik and Alan Forbes, Derek Hess, SHAG, Marco Almera, The Pizz and now Olivia. He works from the artists work, recreating their art into stickers, t-shirts, hats, patches & posters. Directed by the meticilous mind of Larry Finn, Matt also creates the Poster Pop catalogs, websites, and Advertisement Art seen in Juxtapoz, High Times, Tattoo, Savage, Easy Riders, & A.P. He now spends the bulk of his time joint operating Poster Pop with partner Larry Finn and yearn for the day where he can generously spend time painting, or design and print posters!
In January 2001, Matt rebuilt the website of PosterPop.com into a secured credit card shopping cart site! Quite an endeavor! The site took 100's of hours to complete, and in his opinion is more work than designing a multi-page 4 color process catalog in Photoshop and Quark, & printing and mailing thousands of catalogs!!! But with thousands of visitors a day, it is up and running and taking orders around the world! Now, 18 months later it will soon be due for a redesign...
Over the past 4 years, exhausted from Poster Pop and moving his whole life to the Long Beach, Huntington Beach area, Matt has snuck in unplanned a new artform: Fine art Photography
Matt's main reason for venturing into Photography was to photograph his posters for his Wings of Light catalogs, and then to photograph poses of models that he could work into Concert Posters. The beautiful images of the models came out so good, that Matt decided to offer them as Fine Art Photographs in small editions.
Matt has photographed a few models, for fine art nude photography. The first was Sarah, a model from a drawing class, as well as a new model Elle he took pictures of on the Beach in June 2001, and recently in Lone Pine and Death Valley in March of 2002. Look for them soon!
All of the prints are hand printed by Matt on fibre based paper. They are archivally processed and selenium toned, and mounted on 100% Rag Museum Board.
The old mgetz.com website had taken a back seat to Poster Pop - as did Matt's Concert Poster production and fine art work (!). Having not been updated for 2 years, Matt set out to rebuild mgetz.com over a year ago. Now, May, 2002, finally nearly ready to upload the secured shopping cart site, Matt hopes to showcase his original artwork, and to initiate the freedom to just paint!
Over the last 3 to 6 years, Matt have been obviously busy with his graphic design work, Concert Poster creations and with Poster Pop Productions. What he really wants to do, though is to paint his art! Matt has drawn tons of Canvas's and water color paper drawings for paintings. But the goal still remains unfinished. He just has to paint in the drawings he have already achieved. Hopefully he can get the paints out and do it! His fellow Poster Pop artists, notably Frank Kozik, Alan Forbes, and Marco Almera have all followed Shag's and Pizz's lead and have seriously started painting!
You can see preliminary sketches of these new paintings here. Matt has recently in January, 2003 began to paint these in. Hopefully you will see some completed Oil & Acrylic Paintings here and at Art Shows soon!
Written by Matt Getz - 7/17/97, 12/22/97, 10/98, 12/98, 10/99, 1/25/2001, 11-2001, 5-2002, 6-2002, 1-2003
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