Matt Pine, a multidisciplinary mixed-media and spray-paint artist hailing from Toronto, Canada, offers a captivating journey into the heart of his subjects and his own, utilising an array of mediums such as photography, digital design, and painting. In his earlier years, Matt confronted and overcame addiction and alcoholism, yet this triumph left a void that conventional therapy could not fill. By chance, during this juncture, he discovered the visual arts, initially through graffiti, as a means to process his own trauma. This venture into the art world would prove to be profoundly transformative for Matt.
Matt’s artworks showcase the interplay of beauty and resilience amidst personal tribulations. Each of his subjects has confronted various forms of trauma and adversity, emerging victorious. Through his artwork, Matt masterfully narrates a tale, whether it be his own or through the lens of another subject. For Matt, each creation serves as a contemporary reminder to celebrate the beauty hidden within life’s shadows.
Matt predominantly employs mixed-media techniques, which enable him to continually push artistic boundaries and discover novel means of self-expression. He contends that the essence of art is influenced by even the smallest details; hence, every hue and texture within his paintings represents an additional layer of emotion invested in each piece. To bring his visions to life, Matt collaborates with a diverse array of models and photographers from across the globe.
His artistic toolbox encompasses photography, digital sketches, spray-painted portraits, and custom clothing designs, facilitating the creation of attention-grabbing, one-of-a-kind artworks.
Faithe, known artistically as Faith with an E, hails from Long Island, New York. Her love for art and her journey to follow her passion led her to the prestigious Art Institute of NYC in 2013; where she immersed herself in the study of Graphic Design. Post-graduation, her ambitions were firmly rooted in the graphic design realm, and she pursued this path through three design positions and freelance work. However, as time passed, a growing feeling gnawed at her; it seemed that graphic design was not her true calling, nor did it flow naturally from her heart.
In 2017, after grappling with personal trials, Faithe took a transformative step. She shed the title of “designer” and turned her gaze towards her innate talent – the artistry that resonated with her very being. At first, her artistic journey lacked a specific vision or style; it was a canvas waiting for inspiration to paint upon. She produced pieces that not only felt right but brought her immense joy in their creation. With each passing day, her distinctive style began to emerge, eventually blossoming into the breathtaking artworks we admire today.
As a digital artist, Faithe’s primary tool is the digital paintbrush wielded in Photoshop. Her artistic style is a captivating fusion of realism and black aesthetics. She draws profound inspiration from the multifaceted world of black women, music, and fashion. Often, her creative spark ignites after listening to a soul-stirring melody, glimpsing a striking outfit, or witnessing a transformative hairstyle.
Faithe, a devoted mother of two, aspires for her daughters and all black women to see their beauty reflected in her art. She paints with a purpose, celebrating the mesmerizing spectrum of black skin tones, the allure of full lips, and the captivating essence of natural hair. Earthy tones intertwined with vibrant hues form the palette and she weaves symbolism into her pieces with the inclusion of butterflies and flowers; representing beauty, growth, and resilience.
Her artistic mission transcends personal expression; it is about inspiring women and making bold statements that invite interpretation. Each piece is a testament to her devotion to inspiring and uplifting others. In doing so, Faithe seeks to empower women, stir emotions, and spark conversations through artistry that transcends words, inviting each viewer to discover their unique interpretation of her creations.
American artist Preston M. Smith, renowned as PMS in the art world, grappled with childhood cross-eyed vision and a lack of depth perception. These early challenges shaped the unique lens through which he now portrays the world as a painter.
Over time, Preston’s artistic evolution has taken him from moody pop surrealist canvases to a vibrant, tactile, and almost “delectable” abstract realm. His guiding principles in abstract art are “colour, texture, beauty, and decay,” a reflection of his journey from obscurity to enlightenment.
For Preston, painting serves as a visceral and cathartic outlet for his inner self and a poignant reflection of the human condition. He perceives himself as a conduit for conveying unfiltered, raw, and passionate emotions—an authentic expression that resonates with viewers who identify with these emotions within themselves. Art has personally acted as a healing tool during challenging phases of Preston’s life, making his creative process a voyage from “darkness into light.”
In his abstract pieces, his work transitions seamlessly from vibrant cosmic fluidity to intricate geometric abstraction. His obsession lies in the assembly and disintegration of beautiful forms, colour, and texture within his tactile oil paintings, where the medium itself possesses a powerful voice. His textures are lush, substantial, and some might even say, temptingly “palatable,” encouraging viewers to engage their tactile senses.
Preston revels in the notion of transience, understanding that forms, including his own artwork, will inevitably transform over time. His boundless wellspring of inspiration derives from music, literature, movies, and everyday experiences, fueling his creativity and enabling his ideas to adapt and evolve. This relentless pursuit of growth and creativity led him to establish his own podcast—The Living Artist.
Preston’s work has graced prestigious venues, sharing space with luminaries like David Lynch and making a significant impact at the Inaugural Purple Ball during President Obama’s 2009 inauguration, where he was commissioned to create 12 portraits of the President. More recently, he enjoyed a triumphant solo exhibition at ShockBoxx Gallery in Hermosa Beach, California, and made notable appearances at the LA Art Show in Downtown Los Angeles. His artistic prowess garnered recognition as a winner in the 1st 2018 ArtSlant Artprize Showcase, as well as featured displays at the renowned La Luz De Jesus Gallery and numerous exhibitions across Los Angeles and the nation.
Preston’s work currently holds a place of honor in the prestigious Art In Embassies program and has been immortalized in a documentary short titled “Negativity To Creativity.” His art resides in over 500 private collections spanning 25 countries, including those of prominent celebrities such as Ed Harris, Ashley Judd, and Patricia Arquette.
Since childhood, Özlem harboured an enduring passion for drawing and painting. Art classes always held a special place in her heart. However, in Turkey, pursuing art as a profession wasn’t commonly viewed with seriousness. Consequently, she charted a different academic path, delving into the realms of science. Her imaginative faculties expanded as she explored the world from a unique perspective, earning degrees in Biology and Botany. But in time, she heeded the inner call and embarked on a journey of drawing and painting.
Currently residing in Belsize Park, Özlem has transformed her dwelling into a sanctuary of artistic creation, a place once frequented by luminaries like Piet Mondrian and Ben Nicholson, just before the onset of World War II. Originally from Istanbul, Özlem was deeply influenced by the rich and diverse tapestry of artistic expressions from the Mediterranean region. From the ancient marvels of Ephesus to the vibrant traditional crafts of Eastern Turkey, her creative spirit was nurtured.
In 2015, Özlem relocated to London, refining her artistic style while drawing upon her background in Biology, Botany, and her fervent love for science, all contributing to her broad conceptual palette. Nature, a perennial source of inspiration, finds its place in her work, often manifesting as imaginative landscapes offering glimpses into alternative realities.
Drawing inspiration from cinema, music, the natural world, and her travels, Özlem identifies as an astute observer. She absorbs the stimuli she encounters, translating them into vibrant hues and captivating forms on her canvas. The result is a collection of pieces that radiate boundless vitality and joy.
Since 2018, Özlem has left her mark on numerous exhibitions worldwide, spanning New York, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK, with her work also gracing the pages of print and online publications. Notable mentions include Capsules Book, ‘Leaders in Contemporary Art’ (Australia), The Art Folio Annual Art Book ‘World’s Most Exciting Artists’ (USA), House and Garden Magazine, and the ‘Covart’ Project at the Copelouzos Family Art Museum (Greece). She has garnered accolades such as ‘Best in Show’ in Texas, an ‘Honourable Mention’ award in Tokyo, and ‘Top Ten’ awards from Precious magazine in Hong Kong.
In 2022, Özlem was selected as one of seven artists to craft giant fiberglass eggs in celebration of Queen Elizabeth the Second’s Silver Jubilee by Elephant Family, a wildlife charity supported by the Royal Family.
Özlem’s creative endeavours remain ceaseless, and her artwork has found a home in the collections of global connoisseurs, including luminaries such as Anita Dobson, Brian May, Maria Friedman, and Andy Nyman.
Toby Gotesman Schneier, an American Expressionist Painter, is a self-taught powerhouse in the art world. She consistently astonishes with her fearless disregard for established conventions. Gotesman Schneier seamlessly weaves intricate “codes” and “missions” into her canvases. Whether an element is perceived as serendipitous or meticulously planned remains a perpetual enigma, a hallmark of her artistry. This enigmatic symbolism has become her signature.
Her unwavering passion is an insatiable drive to portray human suffering in its raw authenticity. Over two decades ago, she impulsively grasped a paintbrush, commencing an unforeseen and illustrious career as an artist and painter. When questioned about her wellspring of inspiration, she maintains that the work itself “discovered her,” rather than the reverse. She firmly believes that she acts as a conduit, a mere vessel, for a message of paramount importance that consumes her entirely.
Renowned for her singular capacity to metamorphose objects, people, scenes, and events into arresting and thought-provoking works of art, Gotesman Schneier crafts paintings that exude an unapologetic audacity while somehow capturing inherent beauty. Without adhering to conventions, she consistently strikes a chord of sheer sublimity, captivating viewers with each piece.
Her empathy for the human condition and her unwavering faith in a higher power are evident throughout her work. Frequently noted is the poignant nostalgia, sentiment, and even longing her art evokes, as her pieces seem infused with familiarity, cultural nuances, and a heightened sense of irony and collective injustice.
Her unconventional use of color, form, and texture, her audacious departure from traditional artistic norms, and her adeptness at jolting viewers into action with bold, unambiguous imagery have garnered her significant acclaim within the international art community.
Gotesman Schneier’s critically acclaimed collections, including Holocaust, Homelessness, and HIV/AIDS, alongside her more whimsical works featuring Women in Dresses, Umbrellas, Beach scenes, and Abstract pieces, traverse a vast spectrum of subjects, showcasing her impressive versatility and multifaceted perspectives. Her paintings grace the walls of esteemed private collections and have graced the halls of renowned museums and galleries across the nation. Her work has also found permanent homes in museums, public spaces, and esteemed private collections around the world.
Carmen (Bourassa) Gonzalez was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, which is where she continues to live and create today. She never intended to become a full time artist; however, a traumatic experience, incredibly pushed her towards pursuing an art career. Carmen was in a serious car accident, one that led to a long road to recovery and intensive rehabilitation. What might have impacted many negatively, amazingly acted as a catalyst for Carmen to focus on achieving her childhood dream of becoming a professional artist.
While some use art to help heal or to convey the challenges they have personally experienced, Carmen’s art is fun, colourful and uplifting. While she considers her style as realism, there are overarching elements of illustration and pop art in Carmen’s work. She wants to make a statement with every piece and her lively works are filled with personality and evoke joyful memories.
Contrasting and complementing her realistic works are detailed patterned backgrounds that bring her work together. The end result are bold paintings – ones which appeal to the viewers senses. Ultimately, Carmen’s art can be described as a visual feast – a sight that others can “taste with their eyes.”
Her exploration into past memories and “visual feasts” began with Carmen’s Candy series, which was inspired by both her younger years as well as those of her children. Her candy series is about Carmen’s childhood recollections and how one’s inner child never grows up. Candy can lure one into enjoying their inner child again, to bring out a sense of more innocent and peaceful times. Ultimately, Carmen wants to make people smile through her art.
While candy was a starting point for Carmen, her pieces have expanded into other subject matter. Carmen loves learning about history and this passion is shared through her art, but not in a manner one would think. She loves to play on childhood memories, on feelings of sentimentalism. It is this passion for re-capturing iconic images of the past that drives her work. Carmen feels transported in time when she sees nostalgic objects, which is why she is inspired and excited about painting vintage subject matter. From telephones, clocks, toys and perfume bottles to other antique items, Carmen finds the craftsmanship of vintage objects beautiful. She is fascinated by the history and the possible narrative behind each antique, as well as the way these cultural items can trigger deep emotional and social connections.
Her love of art is evident; she spends hours creating and painting in her studio. She has always felt captivated and fascinated by art, seeing it as an escape into a magical world. With her playful nostalgic paintings, Carmen is sharing this escape with others. Her creative mind never rests, as she is continuously visualizing new artistic projects. Without the interplay of her decorative backgrounds, contrasting her still life works, her story, and her art would be incomplete.
Naughty 9ine Fast Facts with Carmen Gonzalez
I have been creating… for 16 yrs. I began painting in 2006.
I takes me around… 3 to 120 hours to complete a painting depending on the size of the piece.
When creating my go to drink is… a Mango Peach Turmeric smoothie
My play list when creating includes… a variety of music: Latino, funk, pop, R&B, hip hop, rap, country, jazz, and soul and some of favourite artists are: Stromae, Pink, Enrique Iglasias, Dua Lipa, Khalid
One famous person I would love to meet for dinner would be… Albert Einstein or Helen Keller or Wayne Thiebaud or Tara Westover or Noah Trevor, or Ryan Reynolds. What a dinner party that would be!
The last series I binge watched was… “Wednesday”, Season 1
The last book I read was… “Educated” by Tara Westover
Outside of art my interests and passions include… spending time with my family and friends, dancing, travelling, floral arranging, and reading.
Self-taught Plastic Artist Gabriela “Gabi” Farnell was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she continues to live today. Growing up in Argentina had a pronounced impact on Gabi’s style and work. While she demonstrated talent from a young age, have a natural ability in the arts, drawing and sketching was not something that was seen as valuable in her country at that time. She decided that to achieve her goals she needed to focus on oil painting, even if it was a medium that she did not enjoy or find success.
While traditionally Plastic Artists create or mould three-dimensional works of art, Gabi is giving the term a new meaning. She uses materials that are modified and manipulated based on her creative actions. For Gabi, this means starting from a blank sheet or canvas with no pre-conceived ideas, drafts or any pre-sketching of her work. Instead she allows her thoughts and creative mood to guide the art process. The end result is a work of art that is unique to the viewer and personally meaningful to Gabi.
Her process begins with a face, the line of a neck, an expressive hand, even a certain look. This starting point is the determining factor which guides Gabi to what is next. As nothing is pre-planned, there is a very organic feel and approach to her work, giving Gabi’s pieces an aesthetic unity – a sense of harmony and beauty in each piece. Her art may not be “pretty” in the common sense of the word – but the visual appeal is in the way her pieces have a sense of wholeness, capturing the viewer. For Gabi the piece is done when it does not “call to her” anymore.
As her work is free flowing, Gabi has many paintings that she describe as “unfinished”, works which she abandoned. This “incomplete” pieces have received significant attention – for some they were able to relate to these pieces and found the works to be powerful artistic statements. What makes her style so personally significant is that Gabi is not focussed on pleasing others or conforming in her style to be accepted within the art world. Rather, what drives her as an artist is to have the creative freedom and satisfaction to create based on her whims and feelings.
What makes Gabi’s work so interesting is not just her plastic approach to creating. Her technique itself is unusual, one that developed over time. When she first started to paint she was trying to “draw”, but with the brush, making her work very rigid and forced. Over time, she found a hybrid approach to creating, a painting style that she see as utilizing drawing techniques. This giver her art a deeply textured and layered look. With this approach, Gabi has created her own niche in the art world.
Combining traditional concepts of beauty with a whimsical feel, Gabi’s work is truly modern in approach. Her intent is to engage the viewer in conversation and to allow the audience to discover their own individual significance contained within this intimate experience. She hopes that each work generates a unique story and experience, one that is personal for the viewer. It is this powerful narrative and original approach that had led her to having her works hanging in homes of collectors across the globe.
Naughty 9ine Fast Facts with Gabriela Farnell
I have been creating… all my life. I do not remember a time when drawing was not the only important thing. Everything else was the things I had to do, quickly and out of necessity, so I could get back to my papers and pencils.
It takes me around… a couple of months per work, as I superimpose materials. The drying of each technique is essential to be able to advance. However, I work on many things at the same time, as I am a bit scattered so that also slows the process.
When creating my go to drink is… Mate! I tend to drink it cold and bland which makes it pretty tasteless. Honestly it is a horrible drink! But always MATE – a traditional South American caffeine-rich infused drink.
My play list when creating includes… a lot of Spanish singer-songwriters: Alejandro Sanz, Joaquin Sabina, Miguel Bosé, Pablo Alboran.
One famous person I would love to meet for dinner… would be Jorge Luis Borges.
I am currently binge watching… the English series based on the characters of Colin Dexter: Inspector Morse, Lewis, and Endeavour, and then I start again. I am monogamous in everything I do.
The last book I read is… “La bolsa o la Vida”, by Eduardo Mendoza, my favourite contemporary author.
Outside of the arts, my interests and passions include… literature, theatre and cinema.
My go to comfort food is… pizza and ice cream – Dulce de Leche of course!
Karen Robb is a Canadian visual artist and co-curator of an art gallery based in Winnipeg, Canada. She studied at the University of Manitoba: School of Fine Arts with an emphasis on figurative work. While her area of study may have been on figurative work, Karen’s art covers a variety of subject matter. While best described as a Conceptual Expressionist, she does not want to be categorized with a specific label, as her work encompasses various styles of art.
Her collections have been in both group and solo shows across North America and abroad. These include New York, Miami, and the Hamptons in the United States to Shanghai, China, as well as Canada.
Her work has made the covers of both the “New York Optimist” and the “Prairie”, an architectural digest. For Karen, art truly is her life. When not painting there is still a focus on art in her household. Her partner is an established artist and Karen has future projects planned with her son, combining his growing notoriety as a social media figure with her art talents.
It is evident that Karen’s love of nature, the beauty found in simple objects, architecture and personal stories are all influences that drive her creativity. Her various styles and subject matter will keep viewers guessing as to what the focus of her next series may be. The one common element in all of her works is that she wants to take people on an unexpected journey, where one can look at everyday situations in an unexpected way and where perceived space is filled with shapes, colour and interest.
Karen’s art is best described as a conversation. She uses the canvas to talk to and connect with people through her paintings. Ultimately, her life experiences inform her art. Through this medium her feelings, her beliefs and her values are shared. Karen wants to evoke strong emotions in people, she wants to get others to think critically about her message and most importantly, she wants to use her art to make a positive difference in the world.
Naughty 9ine Fast Facts with Karen Robb
I have been creating… for as long as I can remember, including trouble
It takes me… various amounts of time to create, sometimes the ideas swim out of the brain and onto the canvas. Sometimes it is a torturously long time.
When creating my go to drink is… port. I always drink a glass of sangria when I finish a painting.
My play list when creating includes… a mish mash of genres; however, it will always include some old school punk.
One famous person I would love to meet for dinner… would be Banksy, although I do believe he is busy.
I am currently binge watching… the “Crown”, my guilty pleasure
The last book I read is… Ha-hah. What is the first book I read? I do not read long books, as my attentions span would devour me.
Outside of the arts, my interests and passions include… gardening, wait that is creative, singing – creative again. I actually do not think I use the left side of my brain!!
Photographer Peter Kolejak was born and raised in northern Slovakia. While he has always had an appreciation for the arts, he only discovered his passion for photography in 2018 when he took a break from his career and left Slovakia to live in New Zealand for the year. During this time, he quickly fell in love with the diverse and breathtaking landscape of the country. Wanting to capture memories and the beauty of New Zealand he purchased a very basic camera. Not knowing a lot about the intricacies of the art form, Peter took to You Tube and books to learn the foundations of photography. Captivated by what he was learning he decided to fully immerse himself in his new world.
Photography wise New Zealand was a dream coming true for emerging photographer. From the exotic fauna and flora to the endemic landscape, Peter had a never ending choice of subject matter. In this beautiful country, within a two-hour drive, one could photograph volcanoes, hot pools, geysers, forests, caves, fjords, glaciers, mountains, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and seascapes. For this novice photographer, he found more than just a passion for photography. Being out and surrounded by nature brought Peter immense joy and inner peace – essentially it became a meditative experience.
Wanting to explore his new found passion, Peter moved to Western Canada in 2019, where he could further develop his photography skills. Struck by the beauty of the Canadian Rockies, Peter spent the next two years focussing on this geographical area. Much of his work from this time captures time spent at the glacier lakes and the incredible views from mountain summits.
Loving the challenge of new subject matter, Peter expanded his portfolio to include breathtaking city scenes. From a narrative standpoint Peter is always considering the message behind his work. Conversely, from a technical perspective he is always looking to get absorbing subject, interesting composition and that special light into one frame. Peter describes it best as he shares that in the moment of witnessing and capturing the beauty and power of nature one finds awe, humility, calmness – one finds inner peace.
In 2021 Peter returned to Slovakia, where he currently is photographing the stunning scenery of his homeland. Still fascinated by the locales he has visited to date, he plans on visiting and photographing more of the Alps and the northern parts of Europe, especially Iceland and Norway.
Naughty 9ine Fast Facts with Peter Kolejak
I have been creating… since 2018 when I bought my first camera and discovered landscape photography.
It takes me… a few hours to a few months to create a piece.
When creating my go to drink is... white wine.
My play list when creating includes… mostly electronic music from various artists .
One famous person I would love to meet for dinner… would be Trevor Noah.
I am currently binge watching… “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction” with David Letterman.
The last book I read is… “Prisoners of Geography” from Tim Marshall.
Outside of the arts, my interests and passions include… hiking, travelling, jogging, music, books, and videogames.
Little is known about contemporary photographer, Urban Eco Ink, (UEI). Speculation is that UEI is from North America but the artist has never shared his identity. When asked the reason for that UEI indicated that he wants the work to speak for itself. For UEI what is important is what is captured in front of the camera, not the person behind the lens.
Like many people, UEI would take photos while on vacation to capture the memory, but there was no real thought put into the photography. The art from only became a focus and UEI only fell in love with photography a few years ago. What catapulted him into photography was UEI’s girlfriend at the time. UEI’s significant other loved the art of photography. What started as a shared moment and a new experience became a passion for UEI, something of which he will always be appreciative. Together they would go for a hike and take photographs or capture picturesque moments of the locales in which they were vacationing. Then the pandemic hit and shortly after the relationship ended. With travel halted and the relationship over, UEI took a break from photography.
The call of the camera was too much for UEI and so he re-entered the world of still life cinematography. UEI finds photography to be an escape – essentially it is a Zen like moment where his focus is on capturing the “perfect shot” by getting the proper point of view, amount of light and background-foreground balance. UEI does not believe in taking numerous shots – instead he believes in trying to find that singular photo that captures what UEI wants to share.
The artist has always loved the work of other photographers, especially Neil Dankoff, Peter Lik and Rodney Lough Jr., who specialize in landscape photography. Their work always mesmerized UEI and those photographers’ works continue to have a special place with UEI today. In part that is why landscape photography is one of UEI’s favourite subject matter. For UEI capturing city scenes is also a passion. The edginess and energy of the city is a complete contrast to the natural calm and serenity that landscape photography brings. These two juxtaposed styles are in part, reflective of UEI’s personality.
UEI finds power and timelessness in the black and white photography he creates. Conversely, he loves producing coloured photography, sometimes filter enhanced, as it conveys a certain energy and beauty. Not wanting to be typecast as a specific type of photog, UEI enjoys capturing both cityscapes – the Urban, and landscapes – the Eco. As for the Ink, only time will tell. While there is an air of mystery around the true identity of the photographer, it is safe to say that UEI’s work speaks for itself.
Naughty 9ine Fast Facts with Urban Eco Ink
I have been creating… for a short period of time – I am excited to see where this journey takes me.
It takes me… varied amounts of time to create a photo. Between waiting for the perfect moment to snap the image to altering the photo later on there is no set time.
When creating my go to drink is… nothing – all my attention is on capturing the image.
My play list when creating includes… the sound of the world around me. I love immersing myself in the natural beauty of the location where I am taking photos.
One famous person I would love to meet for dinner… Dave Grohl. He is such an interesting guy and so damn good at what he does.
I am currently binge watching … “Deadwood”. The last book I read is … “The Nightmare” by Lars Kepler. Aside from being a pseudonym (and we know I like those) for the writers, there dark psychological thrillers make for a great read.
Outside of the arts, my interests and passions include… learning the guitar, mental health advocacy and tattoos.
My go to comfort food is… man there are so many choices but sushi! Is a sushi comfort food though?