Artist Feels Music to Create Synesthesia Pop Art Masterpieces

By Jennifer Carroll

Matt Pecson paints iconic images in a very unique style. Elements of Impressionism, Expressionism, Neo-Dada, Abstract and Pop Art are combined to create contemporary pop art masterpieces. 

However, Matt also has a tool that he uses which comes from deep within. Matt's work is influenced by a condition called “synesthesia”.

Jimi Hendrix "Band of Gypsys", 24x36, Acrylic on Canvas

Jimi Hendrix "Band of Gypsys", 24x36, Acrylic on Canvas

From Wikipedia:

synesthesia
[sin-uh s-thee-zhuh, -zhee-uh, -zee-uh]
is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. People who report such experiences are known as synesthetes.

In layman's terms, it's when one sense produces a reaction in another sense. For example, as when the hearing of a certain sound induces the visualization of a certain color, or letters of the alphabet producing certain scents. It's even used in our common vernacular when we say things like "cool color", "warm color" or "frozen silence". 

Pecson described the feeling to Ken Haggerty from SarasotaDay. “It’s like painting while on LSD. I try to convey what I’m feeling, and what’s coming through. It’s very vibrational.”

Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead "Eyes of the World", 16x20, Acrylic on Canvas

Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead "Eyes of the World", 16x20, Acrylic on Canvas

"It's so hard to explain synesthesia," he said. "It's almost like letting the media dance to the music." he told Susan Rife from the Herald-Tribune.

"Skull", 18x24, Mixed on Canvas

"Skull", 18x24, Mixed on Canvas

There were many synesthetes in music, literature, art and design: Tori Amos, Sam Endicott, Mary J. Blige, Leonard Bernstein, Duke Ellington, Billy Joel, Franz Liszt, Marilyn Monroe, Vladimir Nabokov, Itzhak Perlman. Geoffrey Rush, Vincent Van Gogh, Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams, and Kanye West, just to name a few.

Others who were suspected of being synesthetic: Jimi Hendrix, Syd Barrett, Bob Dylan, Victor Hugo, John Meyer, Wassily Kandinsky, Frank Lloyd Wright, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Friedrich Nietzsche and Nikola Tesla.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_with_synesthesia)

Marilyn Monroe "Hollywood", 18x24, Oil on Canvas

Marilyn Monroe "Hollywood", 18x24, Oil on Canvas

"I think it's a trait we all have, like a sixth sense. It's just something you have to access. Artists tend to have a free mind which allows it to flow" says Pecson. "While many synesthesia paintings I have seen recently are pure abstract, I prefer to incorporate concrete figurative elements in my pieces."

From the Susan Rife article: "I paint subjects that are important to me," he says as he works on a portrait of Hendrix in the garage, "Who Knows" from "Band of Gypsys" playing in the background. "I aspire to paint like Hendrix plays guitar," says Pecson.

For more information about Matt Pecson's work:

WEBSITE
http://www.mattpecson.com

ONLINE STORES
Etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/mattpecson (original art)
Society6 http://society6.com/mattpecson (prints, home decor, etc.)

SOCIAL MEDIA
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/brokenrecordsart
Instagram http://instagram.com/mattpecson
Tumblr http://mattpecson.tumblr.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mattpecson

Jimi Hendrix "99 and 1/2 days", 48x48, Mixed on Canvas

Jimi Hendrix "99 and 1/2 days", 48x48, Mixed on Canvas

Run DMC  "Raising Hell", 24x18, Mixed on Canvas

Run DMC  "Raising Hell", 24x18, Mixed on Canvas

Charlie Parker "Bird", 16x20, Acrylic on Canvas

Charlie Parker "Bird", 16x20, Acrylic on Canvas