Matt Moffett has often wondered what his dogs do all day long while he is at work. Maybe they are basking in the sun by the window. Or, could they be rummaging for leftovers in the garbage? This curiosity is what inspired Moffett to create his latest series of paintings included in the exhibit Dog Show. These paintings offer the viewer a peek into the dog's secret life- the things they do when no one is watching.
Moffett has affection for dogs and has focused on these portraits because he believes that dogs and other pets deserve to be honored and commemorated. "Think about it," Moffett says. "Our pets never ask us for anything but our affection and attention (and the occasional treat). In return, they offer us their never-ending, unconditional love." For each of the portraits included in this exhibit, Moffett aimed to capture the unique personality and character of the featured dog. In order to get to know the dog, Moffett will study them in their home and even allow the dog to take him on a "pet-guided tour" of their dwelling space.
Although Moffett showed a talent for art as a child and was encouraged by his creative mother, he did not originally choose art as a career path. Not realizing his artistic talents could afford him a living, he originally became a Spanish teacher and translator after living and studying in Spain for five years. Not surprisingly, it was actually Moffett's own dog that inspired him to turn to his true passion of art. Moffett began painting when his dog suddenly died of a brain aneurysm. He wanted to memorialize his lost friend so he searched for an artist to create a portrait. Not satisfied with the available options for a pet portrait, Moffett decided he would give it a try himself. The result was not only a portrait which captured the qualities of his beloved dog, but a whole new career was discovered as well. To date, Moffett has painted over 1,000 pet portraits which are included in collections all over the world, including those of President and Mrs. Gerald Ford and Barry Switzer.
With no formal art training, Moffett has developed a recognizable style of loose realism marked by bold colors and sweeping lines. He describes his paintings as visual prayers and says there is deep meaning within every work he creates. "Painting should capture the viewer and take them on a journey," Moffett says. Moffett is not limited to only pet portraits; he is an accomplished painter of still-life, cityscapes, and landscapes as well.
Moffett is honored and proud to be an artist living in Oklahoma. He says, "I believe our state is entering an artistic renaissance, and I plan to contribute everything I can to see Oklahoma's visual art movement grow." Moffett's sentiment holds true when you consider his latest artistic endeavor, The Tulsa Girls Art School Project (TGAS). Moffett is the director and co-founder of this non-profit after school program in Tulsa. TGAS's mission is to provide quality visual arts training to underserved elementary school girls in the urban Tulsa area. "I believe art is for everybody," Moffett says. "Passion for art is something we nourish and relish as a child and seem to lose in our adulthood." Through TGAS, Moffett has been able to contribute to the nurturing of creativity in many future artists in Tulsa.