-Tiera Tanner, WDW Radio Team
Walking around the Epcot International Festival of the Arts artist tents, one can easily distinguish the work of Disney Fine Artist, Tom Matousek. Classic and contemporary Disney characters become bold portraits through Matousek’s geometric paintings.
Matousek’s artistic journey began by painting murals for his daughter in their home, which led to a part-time business. After opportunities like painting the All Star Game logo on the center field wall for the San Francisco Giants, Matousek “realized that [he] may be onto something and decided to commit himself to developing his art form.”
“I built a reputation on using shapes to create portraits,” he said. After creating a small body of work, Matousek was launched by Disney Fine Art in 2016.
In the years following, Matousek’s work developed and amazed viewers. At last year’s festival, Matousek painted a vibrant green horizontal composition of Disney villains live for guests.
This year, Matousek’s newly released painting, Davy Jones, represents his recent explorations at the easel. Davy Jones, a three foot by three foot oil on canvas painting, showcases the portrait of the Pirates of Caribbean character through a palette of orange, green, and yellow hues, created in Matousek’s signature geometric style.
Fragmented, yet dimensional, this inspired portrait portrays Davy Jones through a detailed, but abstracted form. This villain’s piercing, ice blue eyes created the focal point of the square composition. A grimacing mouth draws down into the tentacles of Jones’ face then into abstracted blue elements, further leading the viewer’s eyes throughout the lines of geometric shapes.
“Being a part of this [Disney Fine Art] family has really taught me a lot,” Matousek explained. “I’ve been looking for ways to give my work more texture and more of a fine art feel. It’s still definitely my own, but it has a twist. All of these new pieces [are] at the festival, and I personally feel that some of them are my best pieces to date.”
Matousek encourages young artists to “not try to paint like other artists, but rather be inspired by them.”
“Tim Rogerson once told me that I don’t even need to sign my work, that anyone can tell who painted it immediately,” he said. “That was high praise coming from someone that I consider one of my favorite artists.”
Disney holds cherished memories for Matousek, both personally and professionally.
“Long before I was a Disney artist, my wife wanted to take our four-year-old daughter to the park,” Matousek shared. “I had never been there and didn’t want to go to an ‘old theme park’ for vacation. When we walked in, it was like the gates of Heaven opened and I got to experience Disneyland for the first time through the eyes of my little girl.”
Years later, Matousek was commissioned to create a piece at Club 33 in Disneyland for the park’s 55th anniversary, and was hosted for a ‘meet the artist’ event at La Salon Nouveau.
“Walking in that evening and seeing my work on display there was overwhelming and I broke down into tears,” he said.
To experience Matousek’s paintings, visit the Disney Fine Art or Promenade booth at the festival or stop in The Art of Disney galleries across Walt Disney World.
Tiera Tanner lives her life spreading pixie dust. Whether creating art in her studio, or raising her three young children, Tiera is inspired by the magic of Disney, and is always encouraging her husband to plan their next trip to the parks.