Lively creates in many non-traditional materials and in oil and says his style is determined by the material he is using at the time. “My subjects are simple and the objects are everyday, but the effect is otherworldly…” says Lively. Inspired by household objects like clothing, furniture and kitchen appliances, Matt draws the objects on paper, canvas, or wood (he prefers canvas and wood), then layers in a unique combination of materials in nondescript colors with subtle patterns. Each composition is unique; each item has its own personality. He likes to work on two or three pieces at any given time. He likes to take those simple everyday subjects and make them more interesting-looking than the original subject they represent. He tries to keep the subjects simple, or even silly, in order for them to be dismissed and for the real subject of the painting – the painting itself – to take on the task of captivating a viewer.
Matt received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. Matt’s work has consistently been seen in shows and galleries across the South from the time he was in college to the present. His track record may be due in part to the unique nature of his work – what he calls “construction” paintings and wood collages. What separates Lively’s work from that of the crowd may also be his guiding influence – suburbia. His ideas spring from the “exaggerated suburban scene that I have seen pop up.” He believes that the suburbs are underrated as an art location and that there are many exciting things happening way from the city. “There’s always been some ‘voice of the inner city,’ but there’s never been someone who wanted to be the voice of the picket fence neighborhoods. I want to be that person.”