(This interview took place sometime between 2018-2019.)
Ian Matthew Glass is a self-taught painter who lives in Mobile, Alabama. Glass started painting in 2011. His style appears to be a modern take of Egyptian art with influences from cubism and abstract expressionism.
1) What is your earliest memory of creating art? At what point did you decide to be an artist? Why did you make that decision?
I would draw for hours at a time when I was very young. But as a teenager I picked up the guitar and really didn't get serious with art until I was an adult.
2) What is the main obsession you have with creating? What is the essence that you are trying to depict or convey in your artwork? What is the meaning of your art?
My only directive is to change. Every painting is a success as long as I continue on. The meaning for me, is to find a reason to live, for others I think there can be many things that can be taken away, that is up to the viewer.
3) What are some of the major influences that you felt from famous artists?
At the beginning I was unaware of most of the movements that now influence my work. But the more I painted, the more I expanded my knowledge of art history. I am inspired by the modern art movement, and the 1950's and 1980's New York movement.
4) Tell us about your dreams that you've had (while sleeping) that sometimes influence your art.
My dreams have led me to ideas that would have not become a part of my work otherwise. I usually have vivid dreams, and I remember long pieces of dialogue within a dream. The conversations often change the way I work so that things continue to change.
5) What are some of your frustrations with being an artist? What needs to be changed?
Most of my frustrations come from other things in my life, not from art. I love painting, even when I am uncertain and anxious.
6) Is your art related in any way to your life and your experiences? Tell us your story.
Yes, everything is related. But I think more than anything, my psychological life plays the biggest role. What I am exactly is a mystery to me, and I like that to be present in what I create.
7) What are your hopes and aspirations? Where would you like to be in the next 20 years?
At this point, I just want to wake up and paint as much as I can. I don't imagine myself in 20 years. But I do hope that I learn how to enjoy life in the future.