Thursday, June 20, 2019

I did it! I wrote a memoir

"A personal pleasure and a professional revelation." 

--Sharon Butler, Two Coats of Paint

Just out: The November issue of The Art Section, published by Deanna Sirlin, contains Sirlin's interview with me. This online magazine focuses as much on artists as on art. You can read the interview here, but spend some time with the rest of the issue too. 

Like many people I have lived with a lifetime of personal stories that have replayed occasionally, and somewhat out of focus, in my mind's eye. I never expected to share them, but when I published a blog post about my  Italian family--an emotional response to the presidential demonization of immigrants--I unwittingly opened the floodgates of more specific recollection. I then spent six months at the keyboard pulling everything out of myself, remembering long-forgotten details and grappling with the sometimes long-buried feelings that accompanied them. I've probably revealed too much, but what's the point of censoring a life freely lived? The book is published by Well-Fed Artist Press (that would be me) and is available in print and in digital format.


Two Lovely Reviews, a Harvard admission, and an Interview

SHARON BUTLER, writing in TWO COATS OF PAINT, has said some very nice things about Vita: A Memoir. You can read the full review on her blog, but here's an excerpt:

"Artists tend to remember their early years hazily, as a mix of crazy optimism, financial uncertainty, and an unquestioning faith in the importance of making art. But Mattera is precise, laser-focused, and unusually candid. Her stories are not only colorful and endearing; they also explain the directions she has taken in the studio, and plumb her preoccupation with color, surface, and minimalist seriality. As she demonstrates so vividly, these phenomena are rooted in lived experiences. Powered by a native passion for truth and art, hers have been fascinating and fulfilling." Read more.



Among the many wonderful notes I have been receiving from 
(mostly artists) who have read the book, came this note from 
Philip Gerstein: "The Harvard University Libraries now own 
your book, in the collection of the Fine Arts Library."


ROBERT WHITCOMB, writing in GoLocalProvidence offers a short and more local take. I've posted the screen grab below. I particularly like this line: "Her story, often told with hilarious deadpan humor, displays her drive and growing confidence as a painter and writer and, well, person."

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