Art Saved His life

A moment of reflection for Matthew Brinson. Photo Courtesy: Nicollette Mollet
A moment of reflection for Matthew Brinson. Photo Courtesy: Nicollette Mollet

By Sarah Badran

Life always has an interesting way of showing you what you were destined to do. In Dallas born and bred visual artist, Matthew Brinson’s case it was being tossed from the back of a friend’s motorcycle straight into downtown Dallas’ Dart rail station and surviving this near death experience that turned his life another direction.

Matthew Brinson was living in the fast lane. Since the tender age of 14 he lived a cycle of late nights, girls, alcohol, drugs and partying. He was an indie rock musician, performing with Dallas-based Fever Dreamer, who had just signed to music label Sumerian Records in L.A. On November 2013, a week before his tour was supposed to begin, fate struck him in the form of a near fatal motorcycle accident that left him in the hospital for weeks. After surgery, doctors declared him dead while in a coma for several days. During this process, the nurses shaved one half of the artist’s head, a look he still sports today. “It was a spiritual experience that saved my life,” said Brinston after coming back to life. This could have been the end of the road for the artist, but the world wasn’t ready for this young talent to head out just yet. He saw a light, a light that propelled him away from his old habits and towards a life of pursuing a long time dream for him, becoming a visual artist.

Art was always in the picture for Brinson. “Music is one of my biggest artistic influences; it’s when I’m listening to my favorite tracks that I get inspired to create. I just grab my brushes and go,” Brinston said. The artist mostly works with acrylic paint, but has also worked with spray paint and charcoal throughout his career. Currently enrolled at Dallas Baptist University, he’s pursuing a Studio Art and Marketing degree. “I want to be a successful working artist and entrepreneur, so it was important for me to take classes for both,” he said. He is on track to graduate in May 2015.

Presently, Matthew Brinson, 22, is living out one of his artistic dreams with his first solo exhibit entitled “A Battle, A Transformation” that is on view at Deep Ellum’s Mokah Gallery until March 28. The exhibit is a series of works Brinston created over the past few months as a therapeutic healing process of getting over his accident and adjusting to his new life. He describes the collection of art as a step towards “making a positive transition in life and the internal struggle that keeps transformation from happening.” The exhibit will close with an intimate reception, featuring live music by Kirk Thurmond, on Saturday, March 28 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and is currently free and open to the public.

Transformed large
The exhibition is comprised of 20 multimedia pieces inspired by the artist’s personal struggle with recovery after the nearly fatal motorcycle accident. Images of animals are present throughout the collection representing Brinston’s version of a battle between bulls and swans (dark versus light). The bull and swan images represent his personal internal struggle of getting past what he felt was holding him back after the accident and making that positive leap forward.

“I feel that the meaning of the pieces can help viewers get through their own struggles.” By focusing on the grisly aspects of his recovery process, Brinston was able to channel his frustration and anger and transform the creative energy towards a masterful collection of works.

For Brinston “A Battle, A Transformation,” is more than dream-come-true but a second chance at life. A chance to get it right and embrace his new fulfilling life as a visual artist truly focused and in love with what he does. The artist has already started to create his next series of paintings and continue to travel, show and sell his works.

For more information on the exhibit: