Whitedog’s Report from across the Pond – 1st Edition!
Hello, I’m Craig Whitehead a.k.a “Whitedog”. I’ve known Matt Dove since I was about 9 yrs old since we have grown up on the east coast of the U.S. skating Woodward Skate Camp and O.C. Bowl in Ocean City Maryland in the summertime. He was one that we all looked up to growing up because of his style and the crazy tricks he did.
But I’ve got to know him a lot better after I got older and moved out to San Diego California and have got to skate and hang out with him for the past 6 or 7 years now. When you see this guy really throw down on a vert ramp, or any concrete structure you will be quite amazed of the shit this guy has in his bag of tricks. And then when you see his art work, you’ll get a grasp of the obscurity of his mind that thinks up the tricks he does. Lets talk to Matt for a minute about whats going on recently in his life…
So Matt, Most people know you as a Professional Vert Skater and Reptile Extraordinaire. What people don’t really know about you is you create some great pieces of art as well. Let’s tap into that for a minute. Tell me a little bit of history on your artwork and what you have done.
I was born into a creative family….that’s how I can pretty much sum it up. Everyone in my family has some really creative side about them and they express it individually really well…I think. I always had someone around me, when I was growing up, painting, building, sewing, writing, drawing. I was lucky enough to have access to the tools I needed to try to make, create or destroy stuff, They were pretty much at my disposal. I was in an environment were I had the opportunity to learn the basics of all of my family’s interests.
As far as what I have done in the “art world”, not much really. Most of my pieces have been published or viewed at skateboard events or publications. Transworld published an article a while back…Thrasher, Happy mag…I don’t know. A friend of mine and myself held our own show. That was really fun. $5.00, all you can drink, wine, beer, energy drinks and vodka. We also incorporated a makeshift living room, with all of the normal amenities of a living room. But, everything was painted white. The room was furnished with paint brushes and paint. Everybody participated, got loaded and oh, we had two live bands play as well. They were “Buckfast Superbee” and Jesse Fritcshs band “Operatic”. It was a fucking blast!
I have a show coming up at a gallery this weekend. I have no clue what to expect. I do know I have been sucking too many spray paint fumes and spray adhesive. I almost pass out when I stand up…..I need to wear a mask. So I am behind on a few pieces right this second. Three to finish. I think I have a show in august, held by a body piercing place called APOGEE in ocean beach. Oh, I’m painting a breast mold for the “Keep a Breast” foundation to fight breast cancer. I pretty much try and do creative things all day long, all the time, although it doesn’t always work that way, I think it is essential to my peace of mind and well being.
What’s up with the three new pieces you have going as we speak. Are they going to make it for this next show? I know you’ve been slaving over them for 2 or 3 days straight with barely any sleep.
I hope they make it…fuck. I always do this, but I was confirmed for the show last minute, so it’s kind’a not my slacking this time. I have about five pieces at my friend Jesse’s house I need to pick up, then hopefully these three….like I said, I hope. The three that I am working on are a collaboration of my previous pieces in this style. I am trying to incorporate everything I have learned from the first five finished to make these. I barely sleep when I am working on something. Music, painting, writing…it doesn’t matter , I just get super caught up and can’t get the ideas out of my head until I put ’em down. Ok, they are definitely going to make it. I have about 15 hours of work to go…it’s 6:00pm PST.
Damn, that’s pretty rad how you can just bang shit out like that, The canvases you use aren’t your run of the mill canvases which is pretty unique. Where do you get them, and what are these crazy things you have been painting on?
Ok, so it’s the next day and I am definitely not going to finish my last piece, but I finished two…sucks. I find most of my canvases in Ocean Beach ally ways. People throw the craziest stuff away, no reason to waste good pieces of wood or rad furniture. Most things that I find, I rip apart paint em’ and make something I would hang on my walls, out of them. The last three pieces originally were a mirror stand, a dresser droor and this antique wall cabinet with an ironing board in it (the one I didn’t finish) All really good pieces of wood…just thrown to waste and recycled, by me.
That’s fucking great! You know what they say, one mans trash is another mans treasure. Hey, you mentioned something about music and writing back there somewhere. What’s up with the band?
I’ve been working on a little music project in a three piece called “ENJOYORHATE” for about six months now, three of which have been with the same drummer…not long at all. I play guitar and do main vocals, Wesley Ladd plays bass and Zeb Pontius gives the beat. It’s all original/ experimental songs that all three of us write together. I don’t know how to describe our sound, um, I can tell you our main influences though. Bands like The Melvins, Sonic youth, Fugazi, Nirvana and Dinosaur jr……are pretty instrumental in our vision as a band.
Like I said it’s pretty new, but, developing so fast. I think it’s because all of us share a passion to develop this project to what we feel is us. Who knows…it may suck to everyone else…our first show sucked, I know that, but so much fun! Soon enough we’ll have some songs recorded so you can decide for yourself…ENJOYORHATE?. It’s crazy, I feel like if you choose the creative life you will always have things to learn, at whatever age you are. Life doesn’t get boring and mundane if you challenge your imagination and follow your true interests. Music is another extension and outlet for me, just like everything else I try to do…create!
Right on. So it’s been 2 days since we have spoken. I attended the art show, and was all in all, a pretty good scene. The band that played was Southwest Nomadic and really set a good vibe for the whole thing. A good group of artists attended as well. Amongst Matt, there was Brad Sluder, who had some pretty killer pieces, and his girlfriend Ashley Agackie, who put the whole thing on. Plus, Eveler Collins, Dan Sanborn, and Patrick Sheehan. What did you think Matt?
I thought the show went really good. I cruised the other gallerys in the area and I liked the gallery we were in the best. It had a really good feel to it, like you said, great music and all of the artist had very similar cohesive style. Most of the other gallerys catered to a….well…snootier, highbrow crowd. Ours had a younger more original feel…I was proud to be part of it for sure. I really liked Patrick Sheehans work, cool prints on heavily grain textured pieces of wood, with ornamental rod iron pieces as accents….pretty cool. Brads stuff is really interesting as well.
Definitely, so, what’s on the agenda for you next? What are your plans for the future?
Well, my immediate future is to play a show this Sunday at the Zombie lounge in North Park, then, the next day fly to Ocean City Maryland for a skate camp that I host / visit my mom/ go fishing/ visit the girl of my heart. Besides that, paint as much as possible, play music as much as possible, skate as much as possible and try to pay off some bills…geez. Hopefully all of these aspirations and goals will some how pay off so I can keep it up. I would love to be able to do graphics for a good company for a living, hopefully my friend Darren is getting that going with Creature…that would be really cool.
Thanks a lot Matt for taking the time to answer my questions and hopefully we’ll be able to see more of your art work and graphics on the Creature boards to come. Good luck in everything you do and we’ll see you at the Zombie lounge this weekend!