The world of Valin Mattheis is filled with otherworldly creatures, skeletal priests, and moments of transcendental awe. He draws inspiration from a variety of sources, including the symbolist artists, existentialism, Jungian psychology, and religions and mythologies the world over. The two-dimensional compositions and skeletal archetypes seem somewhat reminiscent of medieval art referencing the Black Death, but while his work does explore that ageless desire to instil faith into the mystery of death, not all of it is darkness and despair. He says that more than anything, he “attempt[s] to convey a sense of wonder or reverence or curiosity.” By recombining ancient symbols and reinvesting them with obscure, contemporary meaning, “blasphemous sorceries and foul rites” are performed, producing a humbling sense of power and magic. “That’s pretty over-wrought,” he concluded in his statement to us. “I also just really like painting monsters.” Visit Mattheis’ Instagram and Facebook page to view more.
Images © Valin Mattheis