Sadly, too many of these artist related posts end tragically. While I am happy to say that Mat is still with us, I am saddened that he is currently going through a tough time with the tragic loss of another one of his brothers.
While this post is about Mat, if you’d like to donate to their family as they try to deal with the passing of young Simon Curran, here is the link: http://www.gofundme.com/simoncurran.
LA via Raleigh and England, I am lucky to say that I bet Mat Curran back in 2007 when he joined our company as a graphic design contractor. As I got to know Mat through working together, I learned about his art and we bonded over some common interests.
It was Mat who convinced me to venture out for my First Friday in downtown Raleigh, and it was Mat who introduced to me to many of the artists and close friends I have today. At the time, he was living with Derek Toomes and Joe “Spclgst” Giampino, two other prominent Raleigh artists, and they often collaborated on work under the name Parail.
As the years went on, the three of them would go their own ways, each to focus on their unique talents. Today, Joe is one of Raleigh’s top DJs and Derek is one of Raleigh’s top artists and one of my best friends.
Mat however has taken his art to the West Coast. He held one final Raleigh auction a couple years ago to fund the trip to LA and we were lucky enough to snag two pieces for the house.
From Art Basel to the NC Art Museum to galleries across the US, Mat has taken his work across the US. It is no surprise that his unique and powerful stencil work has taken off. The craft he honed here in Raleigh can now be seen in galleries and homes far and wide. Today his signature stencil work still adorns the Porchetta food truck and the walls of Centro and Gallo Pelón Mezcaleria, where he used to have a studio.
With a power and style all his own, Mat’s incredibly intricate stencils are mind boggling detailed at both a large and small scale. From the time I met him, I’ve always been amazed at his persistence and his precision. The average stencil is hard enough, but the intricate line work and subject matter that Mat chooses is on a whole other level.
It’s incredibly inspiring, even more so in person, but especially when you realize that he’s doing it with just one stencil. You’ll see more below.
But like I said in the beginning, this post has a sad ending. Just last week, Simon Curran, one of Mat’s younger brothers was tragically killed in a car accident at age 21. He was just a passenger in a car whose driver lost control. Sadly, this is not the first time the Curran family is forced to deal with a loss. Just a few years ago, another one of Mat’s younger brothers, Damian, was killed in a car accident at 19.
No one should have to go through this once, let alone twice. And because Simon did not have health insurance, Mat’s family has extensive funeral costs to cover in addition to pain and grief of this loss. If you can spare anything, please join us, friends and family and several downtown Raleigh restaurants in helping Mat and the Curran family.
You can donate at: http://www.gofundme.com/simoncurran.