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Read How Artist Tomokazu Matsuyama Explores the World Seeking Originality

What does it mean to be of the world? That’s one question Tomokazu Matsuyama—aka Matzu—strives to answer with his work. Growing up between Japan and the United States, Matzu developed a unique perspective on cross-cultural connections grounded and a near-encyclopedic knowledge of art history. Equally as likely to incorporate quotidien commodities in his paintings as he is to reference classical Meiji aesthetics, Matzu is driven by the “struggle of reckoning the familiar local with the familiar global.” So, it’s no surprise he was one of the seven artists tapped by Peanuts Global Artist Collective to bring Snoopy and the Gang to life to a new, global audience. We asked Matzu about his experience and what being a true original means to him, join us on September 26th (RSVP here) when he stops by STORY to chat live and share his perspective. 

Define originality in six words or less:

Seeking yourself through visual works.

How do you stay original and continue to create new work?

There’s much to explore, no?

Who creatively do you look to as a true, unfiltered original?

History never lies, anything or anyone that remained till today.

For Peanuts Global Artist Collective, you’ve drawn on the work of Charles Schulz to create something new, can you talk about your process and what inspired you to take the project on?  

I wanted to join as this project can’t be any more global. My work is a bit about precision—hard edged and loads of color, where Schulz was about the looseness in lines in black and white. How do I merge [the two]?

What’s one fact we can’t find out about you on Google?

That I really care what I consume. You are what you eat right?

If you could meet anyone, who would it be and why?  

Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, my influences.

What is your favorite book?

Reading lots about the function of the brain, recently.