When you’re playing with matches, you never know what’s going to happen. For Jim Thorpe artist Damian DeGiosio, used to visualizing and experimenting, it led to a new muse: matchbook art.
“I’ve been playing with the concept since 2006,” says DeGiosio. “I was fiddling around with a matchbook, and then suddenly I had an idea, and then just like that, one after the other – new ideas just came to me.” And they’re still coming.
You study something as “ordinary” as a matchbook for a while, and it’s not so ordinary anymore. Starting with city scenes, DeGiosio moved on to tugboats, and then began assimilating roadmaps and other graphical images into the work tying together art, pattern and form with a dash of existentialism. From there it seems as if there is no end in sight to the creative possibilities.
Filmmaker Alison Crause, The Dumpster Diver Gallery and Jim Thorpe architect/collector John Bushnell are among the collectors of DeGiosio’s matchbook work.
“I do well showing them at street shows,” he says, having displayed them in Philly at Ritenhouse Square, and during their First Fridays celebrations. Tompkins Square and Battery Park in New York are also natural venues for DeGiosio’s work. “Passersby can’t just glance at them,” he says. “They have to pause for a moment and study them and a lot of people become interested.”
“They’re one-of-a-kind,” he says, “and they’re not real expensive,” music to the ears of art lovers at a time when the art sales climate isn’t working for a lot of artists.
“At this point, exposure is my main goal,” says DeGiosio, 30, with work on display in Philadelphia at the Fuel Collection, Dumpster Diver Gallery, The Artist House, and the Mauch Chunk Opera House Gallery here in Jim Thorpe. “I’m also working on the concept for a handmade book, though with the right editor I can see there are a lot of possibilities.”
Damian DeGiosio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook. A new website will be finished soon.