My purpose as an artist is not to create things of beauty, but to uncover essence. I don’t focus on holding up mirrors of life; I express interpretations of life through universal symbols. Those interpretations are deeply rooted in my own life experience. As a child and teenager, I dreamed of becoming a world champion cowboy, but at age 17, I experienced a serious spinal cord injury. After more than two months in the ICU and six months in spinal rehab, the doctors dismissed me to a rest home and gave me three years to live. Medicine offered me no hope for a future, but something deep inside me said, “wait a minute. I am going to define my life."
Thirty-five years later, I still work from a wheelchair. My physical limitations have required me to create my own tools and processes for doing things, but my accident has also given me the opportunity to recreate myself and my world. This is perhaps expressed best by the inscription on my sculpture The Healer, displayed at the Craig Hospital Healing Garden in Denver, Colorado; “my body has been broken and may not heal, but my spirit can and will transcend my limitations.”
Matt Clark - St. George, Utah 2022