Local artist who takes risks and gains followers with unique style
Local artist Matthew Shelton paints for himself.
“I’ve always maintained the attitude that this is just something I do for myself,” he said. “If people want to go on the journey with me, that’s cool. If not, that’s ok too.”
People join and are amazed by the pieces he exhibits locally including at Fetta, Sassafras, The Spot and Niko’s Bakery.
After moving from Hopkinsville, Shelton decided he wanted to make a name for himself in the art scene.
“Honestly, I’m not very impressed with the local art scene,” he said. “There are a few artists that I absolutely adore. However, I don’t think too many people take a real risk and really push something other than what they think will sell.”
It’s the combination of risk-taking and a desire to “do the polar opposite of what everyone else is doing” that Shelton appeals to. And that’s what makes his art, created in his Neon NoseBleeds Studio, unique.
“I honestly don’t know what to call it,” Shelton said. “My friends jokingly say I’m the king of local freak style.”
Shelton said his style changes monthly and he doesn’t stick with one style for too long.
“I do a variety of mediums: photography, canvas painting, murals, sculpture, and also body painting – for the brave,” he said.
Shelton has been into art since childhood and says he started sketching for classmates and selling them for money or candy. As an autodidact, he began with traditional areas of art. But after 25 years that didn’t satisfy him, so 6 years ago he got serious about developing his own style.
“It deserves a market for the underground arts and things that appeal to people who can’t find what they’re looking for anywhere else,” he said. “Not everyone wants a landscape or a tepid, lifeless celebrity portrait on their walls. Some people want something fancy and unnerving and full of emotion. I am here to fill that need.”
Shelton does not do commissioned work and rarely plans for the final product. His pieces are interpreted through the viewer’s own understanding and perspective.
“I’m just the channel, not the definer,” he said.
Shelton continues to fulfill his need for personal growth and happiness through painting.
“I’ve always had a strict, ‘If you like it, that’s great. If not, that’s okay too. “Attitude,” he said. “I’ve found that when I start looking at art and expression as work, I resent it. I’d rather not lose my love for it by having a few bucks to spare.”
Shelton’s work can be seen on Instagram and Facebook, where he can also be contacted.