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Mexican culture influences Clay Mata's vibrant paintings

Louisville, Kentucky — Clay Mata’s home studio is her happy place. Dozens of spray cans and acrylic bottles scattered on the table cover the rainbow colors. The walls are lined with vibrant paintings depicting everything from video game characters to pop-her cultural icons to Mexican folk art influences. Handcrafted by Frida Kahlo, her rug channels the energy of her one of Mata’s favorite artists.

What you need to know

  • Clay Mata is a Louisville painter whose Mexican heritage heavily influences her work
  • Bring vivid drawings to life using stencils, spray paint, acrylics, and other materials.
  • Mata first discovered her love of art behind the scenes at Churchill Downs
  • Her work is currently on display at the Capitol Rotunda as part of the Kentucky Arts Council’s “Our Kentucky Home” exhibition.

“I think she’s brave,” Mata said of the famous Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. Her Frida Kahlo is best known for her brightly colored and often emotional self-portraits. “She is wonderful Chingona(Chingona is a Spanish word used to describe a “badass”, a woman who is considered capable or talented.)

Much like Frida Kahlo’s paintings, Mata’s work is full of vibrant colors.

“[Color] Very important I feel that everything in Mexico is colorful, including the food. Just by looking at the bowls, just like the plates are colorful and everything is colorful, the dance, the music, our culture everything is so colorful and I love it. ”

Clay Mata poses with a mural she painted outside Taco Choza in Louisville. (claymata)

On this day, Mata transforms the closet door in her home studio into a vibrant mural of a winged cat.she is painting Alibrier, an imaginary creature commonly found in Mexican or Oaxacan folk art. She combines stencils, her spray paints, and her acrylics paints to bring fantastical beasts to life.

Mata’s Mexican heritage stands out in her paintings as much as the bold colors she brushes onto canvas that isn’t always the door of her closet. Jackets, sneakers, walls, sides of buildings, etc. Wearables From her art to décor, her work is sold to clients across the country.

Mata realizes her childhood dream in one stroke. She was a little girl when she discovered her love for painting the backside of Churchill Downs.

“One day I was just sitting there [at Churchill Downs] While my parents were walking horses. I started drawing on napkins and thought, ‘Oh, I’m fine.’ The first thing I drew was him a UofL cardinal,” Mata recalls.

Inspired by Muhammad Ali, Pokemon, Muñeka, The Golden Girls, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and even Frida Kahlo, Mata’s current work ranges from pop culture and historical icons to Mexican folk art. We cover everything from impact to impact.

Mata’s art is featured at several Hispanic Heritage Month events. Later this month, Mata will return to where her dream of becoming an artist began. She will be giving her presentation of her art live at her After Her Dark Downs on September 24th at Churchill Downs Racecourse.

Two of Mata’s paintings are also on display at the Kentucky State Capitol Rotunda, part of the Kentucky Arts Council’s “Our Kentucky Home” exhibition, and are one of the state’s Hispanic, Latino, and Latinx artists. section is picked up.

“I didn’t know how many Hispanic artists there were in Kentucky, so I was thrilled,” Mata said. “Here in Kentucky, you don’t see a lot of Hispanic museums and exhibits. That’s what I do, so it was really exciting to hear about it.

The “Our Kentucky Home” exhibition will be on display Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 pm, in the Capitol Rotunda until October 5th. It has since been exhibited at his LexArts gallery in Lexington and the Kentucky Center in Louisville.