Mark Mattioli
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Biography

Born in 1950, Mark Mattioli was raised in Burbank, CA. Academics took a back seat to art and athletics in his youth. His artistic talent was recognized and fostered by his mother from an early age. Mad Magazine and comics sparked his zany imagination as a boy, and pictures in National Geographic magazine inspired countless pen and ink drawings. However, it was not until after graduating from CalState University at Northridge with a BA in Biology that he allowed himself to pursue art classes at the local college. Surrounded by art materials and artists, he supported himself at a popular retail art supplies establishment in No.Hollywood for several years, gradually taking commercial art jobs on the side.

When Mattioli left then polluted Los Angeles basin as a young man in 1978, there was no going back. After a few idyllic and impoverished years in Oregon, Mattioli settled in the Napa Valley in 1980 with his wife, and fathered two sons -- Vito and Vinni.

Mr Mattioli worked a few years behind the bar of a now famous Napa Valley restaurant before launching his own business enterprise in 1984 -- "Mattioli's In Your Pocket Guides". As a one man operation, he managed the art, sales, and distribution aspects of these quirky illustrated maps for five wine country towns. Even in today's high tech world, Mr. Mattioli's hand-illustrated guides still prevail in the area and continue to provide success, recognition and livelihood. Of the guides, Mr. Mattioli comments gratefully: "I found a way to make art pay."

Hundred of contacts in the guide business led to scores of art commissions over the years, including commercial illustrations, sign making, mural painting and fine art commissions. He began publicly exhibiting his work in 1991, and participated in the prestigious Napa Valley Wine Auction for nearly a dozen years. Mr. Mattioli continues to participate in numerous art invitationals throughout the region, and has served as a juror for competitions.

Influences throughout the years have included Saul Steinberg, Mobius, Ronald Searle, Richard Stine and various contributors to Punch and New Yorker magazines. Also, Gary Larsen's Far Side, Wiley Miller's Non-Sequitor, and painters Wayne Thiebaud and the Wyeth's. Travel also serves as inspiration, being removed from the routine and familiar. Says Mr. Mattioli: "Seeing with fresh eyes breeds fresh ideas."

In the fine arts, Mr. Mattioli likes to cultivate a state of mind that hearkens back to the playful realms of childhood imagination. He considers himself "a punster" and is blessed with an endless source of wacky ideas. He says: "My challenge as an artist is to bring the irony inherent in these ideas to visual form for the viewer. I see my ability to focus on the lighter side of life as a kindness I can share with others through my art."

Easily self-amused, he likes nothing better than amusing others with his wry humor. He enjoys making his art accessible, being collected and collectable.

Mr. Mattioli lives in the beautiful Napa Valley with his lady love Elizabeth and his faithful dachshund, Stan.


 
 
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