Sunday, September 12, 2010

Gettin' Right and Tight with Matty McTatty,

Matty McTatty (if that is his real name- haha) has  to have insatiable lust for photo realism. I've been watchin' this artist win award after award at conventions for his astounding realistic portraits, and finally got a chance to hook up with the man himself at his home post, Peptide Tattoo in Franklin Ohio (near Dayton).
Seeing his home-shop, I finally got a feel for the method to his madness. In his home shop, the guy is a real drill instructor- a Marine from the south who spits out excellence like it's his job.  It's hard to believe an artist of his caliber isn't storming around brooding up his fantastical creations. No, he is clean, down to earth, well organized and passionate.  As young as he is, I have to tell you this guy reminds me so much of my grandfather (king Frank), up at 430 am every morning making coffee fixing things and quoting Shakespeare and referencing  Caravaggion themes.  A true rebel of form and a maniac in the skin.  
I poked around Matty's booth and saw a precise layout of love. Awards and bad-assed paintings  were prominently displayed, and in the front a "Greatest Dad" award. It about broke my heart.  Amidst all these awards and published magazine articles, raving tattoo clients telling him how awesome he is, he is most proud of this simple hand drawn award with a photo from his kid. Geeze.
His portfolio is a precise blend of  photo-realistic and illustrative beauty.  As serious as he is  one can tell the guy feels free to just kick back and have fun with his clients (see boss hog portrait). Every tattoo is  light-hearted and saturated with precision.  My personal fave in his online portfolio is the White Rabbit form Alice in Wonderland, pointing to a clock.  The foundation is so tight in that rabbit , black worked in just enough for the tattoo to pop off the skin --but not to much to distract from the realism of the rendition.I feel the impending sensation of panic when i look at this tattoo, like I am late for an important date(usually the scenario).  And that shit's rad. I love the identification and emotional feel of artwork, and Matty seems to be a guy that gets that.
Second favorite of mine in his portfolio was a little gem of a family crest.  It looks really simple and single point (the whole tattoo was done in one visit).  What I love is in comparison to every other family crest I've come acrossed--client brings in a family crest it gets tattooed as-is, and thats that. How fun that Matty takes the subject Matter and grinds it throught the ole Matty-brain, and out comes this phenomenal tribut to this guys heritage.
From the head of his home shop- to the farstretching  toes of  his frequent stops in towns near you (eh-hem Springfield Freedom Tattoo expo-September 17-19)   Matty McTatty is cool from the halls of montezuma to To the shores of Tripoli, go on and find out for yourself
or Check out his stuff and trek to Ohio and get you sum. or

Speaking of the toes of your traveling, what's your  convention schedule like?
Louisville in August, Springfield, IL in Sept., Dayton, Ohio in October, and St. Louis (hopefully) in November.

Whats up with your work--wheres your style heading? I love to tattoo
anything realistic, but I also love doing a lot of different styles as
well. I try to stay as versatile as I can. As far as where its
going...well, the sky is the limit, so I'm gonna see just how high I can

Your favorite kind of project? I really like to paint, although I don't
get to do it a lot! I prefer oils and acrylics to any other medium, but I
try to at least be somewhat proficient in other mediums too!

Who's the heaviest influence in your style? Do you have a shrine or
anything for the person yet? shrine yet, but I do have my
picture with some of them....the earlier influences were Gil Montie, Deano
Cook, Mike Malone, and a few others, but it's progressed to people like
Nick Baxter, Jeff Ensminger, Juan Salgado, and the list keeps going!
There's a shit-ton of talent out there, but I look at everybody's stuff,
good and bad! There's a lot to learn from both!

What do you love about tattooing? Uh...pretty much the whole thing, with
the exception of the ones who try and haggle ya for a lower price or even
better, the ones who price something with you, then stop back a couple
weeks later wanting you to fix the piece of shit they went and got for 40
bucks less! 
What do you think sucks about it? Well, I thought I covered that, but
since you asked....people who see you at the bar or wherever, and are like
"man, what you charge for a full-sleeve?" or my personal favorite...."can
you fix this whole arm of tribal I spent like 65 bucks on and a case of
beer, I got it at my buddies house, he just bought some guns and I told
him to do whatever!" What douches!

What else do you do creatively? I paint, build a machine here and there, I
do crafts and stuff with my daughter, and I even get creative in the
bedroom! HA!

Whats on your bookshelf, tattoo related? Man, Well, It's been awhile since
I bought a tattoo book, but I have Guy Aitchison's first  release of
Reinventing the Tattoo, Joshua Carlton's book and dvds, The Whole
Enchilada, and ya know, I think I even have a really old copy of Spaulding
and Rogers How to tattoo book....hahah, I think that was my first!

Do tattoos hurt? Ya know, I tell everyone the same depends on
who you are. It's like trying to explain how a tomato isn't
going to be the same for everyone.

I want a tattoo, how much for something "this big"? If you have to can't afford it!

Is pimping easy? If ya got ya "ho's" under control!

What excites you--How do you get your kicks (not tattooing)? Man, anything
outdoors, hiking, canoeing, fishing with the kid, going to concerts,
building stuff, and just hangin' with my family and friends....nothing
outta the ordinary, well, except watching dogs poop...that always excites
me for some reason....what a gas!!

Thanks so much for your hospitality at Peptide, Matty, you guys were a flippin' riot.  And thanks for the sickest tshirt ever.  We had so much fun. (other than the bad-ass pics I took (don't steal) photo's of Matty's work Courtesy of Matty McTatty)

Matty McTatty
Peptide Tattoo Studio


  1. Matty ROCKS!! I look forward to someday getting to purchase a "coffee table book" featuring all his artistic and creative designs - artwork on both canvas and human skin. Get to know him now before he's featured on TV --- "Carlisle Ink!" :-)

  2. What sets Matty ahead of the pack is the combo of ability, passion & attention to detail! This guy really does care about doing the customer right! Also, as a collector, the experience is one of the most important ingredients to the way you feel about the art on your body years later...and year after year Matty's attitude & dedication to my work has fueled the fire to work on new & existing projects in the most positive, spirited ways! I'm amazed EVERY time!
    If you're looking for your next artist to work on a serious piece...get a hold of Matty, and make it happen! Your skin will thank you!

  3. I enjoyed the article, Mary, even though I'm not a huge fan of realistic tattooing. My only critique is that the font used in the first half is pretty difficult to read. Good stuff though.

  4. THANKS! I agree, layout on blogspot is frustrating. I'm looking into a reg webpage now, love the constructive feedback. :)

  5. Loved the article, Matty lays down some sick work!!