The trajectory of Matt Sesow’s life is mirrored in his art. While it’s not always pretty, it never fails to garner attention. As a child, his left hand was amputated after a traumatic accident. Eleven years later, he began to share his paintings with the world and hasn’t stopped since.
In shows from New York to Europe, his vivid colors, frenetic lines, and contemporary aesthetics have been called raw, emotional, and intense. He paints fervently, sometimes documenting current events with an acerbic eye. He claims Willem deKooning and Francis Bacon as inspirations, along with the punk music soundtrack of the 1980’s.
“I suppose everybody has experienced some pain and fear in their lives. Just as paintings of pretty flowers and sunsets with horsies make us smile and feel content, I want to paint emotionally charged intense works that cause discomfort or inspire people to challenge themselves. I had some unique physical trauma as a child that got me started on this path... I'm a generally happy person, but I have taught myself to channel anger and intensity in art. The best musicians and painters have done it, those are my heroes.” (online interview, 2004, Artquotes.net)
Born in 1966 in Nebraska, Sesow has packed a lot into his life already. He has traveled extensively, chalking up countries like Costa Rica, Bulgaria, and Malaysia on his been-to list. He has served as a Peace Corps volunteer, created award winning short films, worked as a radio disc jockey, and was employed by IBM as a software engineer for a brief time.
He now paints full time and resides in Washington, DC with his wife Dana Ellyn.