Matthew is a Louisville-based artist and avid skateboarder who mixes tattoo flash-art style with pop culture references. His work is a blend of macabre and deadpan humor. While he doesn’t generally create specific narratives within his work, he does draw upon his personal background and experiences. The tone of his work expresses a kind of be-happy, life-is-meaningless attitude. Rather than being consumed by seemingly negative feelings, McDole sees them as a cause of celebration and reason to enjoy life more. —Daniel Pfalzgraf
As seen in the February 2020 issue / Interview by Adam Creagan
When you start a piece featuring lots of individual content, do you have a sense of what’s going to appear in it? Or do the subjects surprise you along the way?
A little bit of both. A lot of the time I will doodle stuff and know that I want to use them in my next piece. And other times I’m just drawing stuff that pops up in my life while I’m in the middle of making a piece. Stuff from movies, songs, books, antique stores, etc.
It feels like there’s something not quite tattoo flash art about your work. Your pieces seem to exist in a realm adjacent to flash art but independent from it. Any thoughts on that?
Yeah, I always loved flash sheets at tattoo shops because of the layouts but I’m not into shading and a lot of the other stuff that you see on tattoo flash sheets.
That said, do people get tattoos of your work?
All the time. A lot of people reach out to have me draw their tattoos or ask if they can get something I’ve drawn tattooed on them.
Who are you digging in the skate world these days?
My friends and the kids at the park always get me the most excited. You gotta love seeing your friends and the people from your town get better and grow. I still watch old stuff all the time. I love Bobby Puleo, Dan Drehobl, Dill, Kenny Reed, Gonz, Brent Atchley, and a bunch of people I’m forgetting at the moment. That Ipath summer preview from 2005 is just as good today as it was back then. Heath Kirchart is my favorite even though he’s so much different than the type of skating I’m normally into. His style and approach to skating and video parts is amazing. As far as new stuff, I really liked that newest Worble video. Corey Glick, Evan Smith, Deedz, Ben Koppl (rollersurfer), Oski, and a bunch of others I’m forgetting. Polar videos are always on at my place and I always like those Greco short films.
How about the art world?
My favorite is still Margaret Kilgallen but she’s been dead for years now so I’m not sure that that’s the answer you’re looking for. Current artists I’m digging are Van Eggers, Steve Powers, a bunch of sign painters, Land Boys, Jess Mudgett (who just painted some stuff at Double Rock), Wolf Bomb, and a bunch of people I’m forgetting.
Anything you want to say? A shout out?
Shout out to Blacklist skateshop, Rhett skateshop, Home skateshop, and anyone over 30 who still skates.
For more art and info on Matthew, visit his Instagram: @matthewmcdole
To submit your own Canvas, click here.