Subtle, Pastel Paintings Inspired by the Tokyo Metro

Growing up in Wisconsin, artist Trek Matthews was initially inspired by his natural surroundings, incorporating wildlife scenes and Native American mythologies into his illustrations. But following a move to Atlanta and a short stint in Japan in 2014, his artistic style began maturing into what we see today. If you’ve ever ridden public transit in Tokyo or any other Asian metropolis, chances are you were too busy being corralled into crowded trains to notice the architecture of the stations. But in Matthews’s mind, those spaces can be transcendental, pastel paradises. After Japan, Matthews began incorporating large geometric swaths of delicate hues, intersecting them to create imaginary spaces reminiscent of the built environments he’d encountered in Asia. Some of his compositions call to mind Kanji and other forms of Japanese calligraphy, further reiterating the strong Asian influence. His color palette is so subtle and transparent that viewing his work is akin to commuting through a sherbet-colored dream. Matthews isn’t constrained to the two-dimensional plane however: A quick scroll through his Flickr reveals three dimensional assemblages and installations that are definitely worth exploring.trekmatthews_Tokyo_Metro1 trekmatthews_Shinjuku_Eki3 trekmatthews_yamanote2 trekmatthews_shadow003 trekmatthews_Shibuya_Eki1 trekmatthews_Shinjuku_Eki1 trekmatthews_indiegrits trekmatthews_supported_stacking_structure_001 trekmatthews_supported_stacking_structure_004