For THE SOAK UP episode 12 we were lucky enough to get into the studio of incredible, multi-faceted, multi-media artist ATMA (who also happens to be Venus & the Cat's next collaborator - watch this space).
Who is ATMA?
French artist ATMA (Sanskrit for ‘Soul') is Matt Dufour, London-based, he is the lead artist for the global Paint the Change programme, and co-founder of Wood Street Walls.
What is ATMA known for?
ATMA is world renowned for his incredible, large-scale murals seen across Europe and collaborations with institutions such as Google Arts & Culture, Lazarides Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, Punch Drunk, and in association with Lufthansa, Dulux, Camel and Dr Dre.
Where can I buy artwork by ATMA?
ATMA typically works to commission - find more at his website here
The ATMA interview: THE SOAK UP #12:
In THE SOAK UP episode 12.1 we got to visit the Kings X studio of incredible muralist and fine artist ATMA. We kick off outside his studio (apologies for the road noise!) as we look at a mural he painted for the reception of his studio building. We quickly take respite inside his studio as Matt takes us on a tour of the personal works he has kept for himself and tells us a little something about them. We look at some of his more recent Matisse inspired papercut work as well as his play with abstract themes which allow a more expressive space to explore. We also see Matt's first ever piece of work (an etching from when he was just six years old). We then kick off a sit down interview and talk about Matt's earliest memories and ultimately how a love of music took him from classical to playing drums in teenage bands, getting in to the hip hops scene and finding a love of style-writing and graff, from where it all began...
In THE SOAK UP episode 12.2 we talk to ATMA about his love of portraiture and mural work and how the two combined in his early years, and how his education in communications and working in advertising spurred his interest in public art. Matt talks about his love of travel and how his move to Morocco allowed him to explore new styles and create his first exhibition. We talk about documentation and his desire to compile a book of work one day, his love off style writing, wildstyle, graff and how moving on to Spain allowed him freedom as a street artist (whilst also being a builder!). He also explains where the name ATMA came from.
In THE SOAK UP episode 12.3 we talk to ATMA about his move to London and how challenging that was, about how Matt got into the London art scene, a little porkie pie about knowing Gilbert and George which turned into a live portrait for them and gave Matt hope for his future in London, and how that future developed out for him in the next few years and up to the current day.
In THE SOAK UP episode 12.4 we talk to ATMA about his favourite pieces of work and his work within communities, engaging people and their contributions within his own mural work, such as his 'Thank You NHS' pieces and 'Culture for Changing Cities'. Matt talks a little about his current obsessions and upcoming work, future styles and ambitions, his notion of 'upliftism' and a little bit about his collaboration with Venus & the Cat.
Check out ATMA on Instagram here