Eyes on Detroit: Matt Hutton aka Ghostbeard

Eyes on Detroit: Matt Hutton aka Ghostbeard

March 13, 2017

A few weeks ago we told you about Murals in the Market. This monumental showcase of local and national artists shined a new light on the booming artistic scene of Detroit. The world has finally started to notice what InkAddict has known for a long time, simply put, Detroit  is full of really creative people.

From tattoo artists to street artists we have it all. There are new galleries to check out every week and new murals going up everyday. The artistic community is growing by the minute. Old schoolers and new schoolers are coming together and changing the way the world views our city and we are proud to be part of it. This time Eyes on Detroit will take a look inside the art scene by talking to Detroit local Matt Hutton.

Matt Hutton, also known as Ghostbeard, is a local artist that has been painting, drawing, and spraying for as long as he can remember. He works in a variety of different mediums, but is a painter at heart. Recently, he teamed up with his partner in crime Patch Whisky to paint the first completed mural during this year’s Murals in the Market and is looking forward to taking on a wall with Patch again this year at Art Basel.

We had a chance to ask him a few questions to get an inside look at Detroit’s art scene through his eyes. Check out what he had to say and add him on Instagram to keep up with his latest work!

Photo by Barbara Green

InkAddict - When did you know that you wanted to create art?

MH - I was interested in art ever since I can remember, ever since I was a kid. I loved cartoons. I enjoyed the work of Tex Avery, Joseph Hanna, Walt Disney, and all the 2D animators of my childhood. It was my love for animated cartoons that led me try my hand at it. When you got it, you got it... and I had something. It was a God given talent. I wanted to make art the day I realized what I could do with my own two hands.

InkAddict - What is your favorite medium to work with?

MH - I have always done many types of art. These days I often create things out of wood or reconstruct old found objects. The one common factor is that after I've done the creating phase, I paint. I am a painter, first and foremost. I paint acrylic on canvas, wood, or metal. I paint with soft body acrylics and/or spray paint.

InkAddict - How do you feel about street art? What do you think it brings to the community?

MH - Street art is important. Art has always been important. Street art is just the term for outdoor mural art based off the graffiti guys revolutionizing the world of spray paint. Graffiti led the way with spray and who could ask for a better big brother than that. It's important to shout out the graffiti guys because without the OG's street art wouldn't be where it's at, in the height of its boom. I support all art. I support all artists. As an artist, you live with less to make more and I respect that. Art brings to the community the same thing it brings to life, the ability to create and imagine things your own way. Beauty. Art is life. Art breathes life into communities.

InkAddict - How did you feel about outside talent being used for murals in the market?

MH - Personally, I would have brought in the most talented and respected artists I could have. Just as murals in the market brought in as many great artists as they could while maintaining the accommodations they wanted to provide to the artists and for the festival. Which was above and beyond. The people at Murals in the market and 1xrun deserve a salute from artists in Detroit because it's festivals like this that happen all around the globe, and now in Detroit as well, that cause the whole art world to look our direction and some of the attention is gained by these artists. Thank you to the artists who came out to Detroit, whether they've been here before or are first time visitors. I hope Detroit treated them well. As for Detroit artists, I got nothing but love for them, I am one, and I feel Detroit is full of some of the most creative people in this country. We've wanted to see Detroit gain notoriety and respect for its role in the street art movement and it's happening.

InkAddict - How did you become one of the artists for murals in the market?

MH - I had gotten a painting gig in Corktown and my big homie, mentor, and best friend Patch Whisky flew into town from SC to collab with me on the wall. The piece is in the alley behind the Metropolis Bike Shop. We wrapped up as the Murals in the Market festival was just about to kick off. We hit up a homie of ours, Tead Nasty and asked him about the festival since he was painting in it and he told us to swing down to Eastern Market and talk to Jesse from 1xRun. We weren't painting in the festival, but this is what we do so we had to talk to someone. Patch and I went to 1x, Tead introduced us and from there Jesse showed us all the available walls. He even gave us paint intended for another artist who had ordered and was unable to attend. He treated us like anyone would have wanted to be treated. I appreciate everything him and the team did to bring us on without notice.

InkAddict - What was the hardest part about creating this particular mural?

MH - I've travelled beside the artist Patch Whisky for some years. He mentored me. Together we've had the pleasure of working in cities all along the East Coast. So throwing up a mural isn't much a concern. The hardest part about this wall, besides just getting to be a part of the festival, was that we were painting a 30ft monster, needed a boom lift, and there was only 1 in the market at the time. We'd began painting before the initial festival kickoff. 1x crew was still using it to buff walls for the artists who were to paint. We had to keep crazy hours in order to get this mural finished by the time Patch had to leave. As people flew into Detroit for the festival on a Friday preparing to paint for the next nine days, Patch and I finished...and he flew out the next day.

InkAddict - Would you do it again?

MH -There is no doubt this is one of the biggest things involving art Detroit has seen in years and it was a privilege to have been there for the first of many to come. I wouldn't have changed a thing and look forward to working with them in the future.

InkAddict - What artists do you follow?

MH - I follow art. It's a big part of my life. I pay attention to artists like, Greg Mike, The Weird, Jeremy Fish, Hebru Brantley, Alex Pardee, Alex Yanes, Sheryo and the Yok, Patch Whisky, Rime, Persue, Dabsmyla, Sainer, Woes, Nosego, Miss Van, Luke Chueh, Pat Perry, Malt, Tristan Eaton, Beau Stanton, Fel 3000, Tara McPherson, lamour supreme, Greg mishka, Teadnasty, Camille Rrose Garcia. I follow art. All art.

InkAddict - What’s your next project?

MH - Next stop is Art Basel in December. I'll be back with Patch Whisky and we'll be throwing up a big ol' monster on Wynwood. Not sure where, but follow Patch Whisky and Ghostbeard on Instagram to see what's going to happen when the MNSTRSQD hits Miami.

InkAddict - Do you have any tattoos and if so can you tell us a little about them?

MH - Yes, I have and like tattoos. I understand that people have their opinions and I enjoy that people don't have tattoos as well. I think they are a creative way to tell parts of your life story. That's my approach to tattoos. I have multiple and have gotten them over the years, so I will give you the story of my newest piece. I got the word glorious across my chest shoulder to shoulder. The reason I chose this for a tattoo is because I enjoy genealogy as a hobby. While researching my ancestors I had found the contact information of an old man who was my great grandfather's nephew. I reached out and met with him in his Clinton township home. He sang me a song my great great grandfather and his Irish brothers would sing, a Celtic fraternal song. The song's chorus chants "glorious, glorious, a full keg of beer, for the four of us, glory be to God there ain't no more of us, cause one of us could drink it all alone." It is a tattoo commemorating my great grandfather.

Originally Published: Thu, 05 Nov 2015 04:48:20 

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