Dale Mathis is an American artist who utilizes pistons and gears in order to create something both aesthetically pleasing and meaningful. After moving to Las Vegas, NV at the age of 19 and working a series of odd jobs, this self-taught artist eventually gained enough traction and was soon able to reach a wider market. His work has been featured in galleries throughout the US and has also been showcased in various media outlets such as CBS, MTV, and HGTV.
How long have you been making sculptures?
I’ve been an artist my whole life. I started making the art you see today about 18 years ago.
Did you start in this medium? What others have you tried?
No, I studied mechanical design and electromechanical design in school. Technical drawing was my thing like exploded views or machines. Because of that, I was gradually drawn to actually making the things I drew on paper and making them function.
Is there an artist or piece of art that inspired you to become an artist?
No, I never studied art in school. I learned art history many years later when I started creating things.
Who are some of your favorite living artists?
Damien Hirst for his business savvy approach to art as well as Jeff Koons. Picasso and Dali for their innovative works and charismatic personas.
What was the first piece you sold?
Crucixion of a Legacy was the first fine art piece I ever made and sold. It looked similar to the Vietnam Wall Memorial and my piece Killing Time. On the wall were the names of early African American artists starting with the first recognized name Joshua Johnson. I sold it 18 years ago for $8,000, which was the most money I ever made at the time for an art piece.
Your work is also popular in Asia. Can you tell me what you find interesting about that market and why you think your work resonates?
I wouldn’t say it is popular in Asia, at least I’m not aware if it is. If anything, my presence there with my studio being located in the Philippines may have some connection to that.
You are featured in Michael Godard’s gallery. How did that come about?
It is no longer there but that was one of my early gallery sign-ups. Back in 2007, I did the Las Vegas Art Expo 2018. It was my first event of that magnitude and it introduced me to the commercial art world. It was there that I met the powers that be who eventually got my work in the door. The rest is history, as they say.
What do you find unique about the Las Vegas art community?
Because [Las Vegas] is a tourist/transient town, you meet people from all walks of life.
What is the most unique piece you think you have made?
The first heart for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. It now belongs to the City of Las Vegas and sits in Mayor Goodman’s office at City Hall.
Your desks are often talked about, how many are there in the world?
There are 100 desks currently and 25 AP editions to be made.
Do you have what you would consider to be a signature piece?
Visit dalemathis.com to learn more about Dale Mathis and his work.