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Art & Life with Matthew Genecov

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matthew Genecov.

Matthew, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I grew up in Dallas, TX where I went to an all-boys prep school. Then went on to UT Austin where I studied psychology and was in a fraternity. I think it’s safe to say I never had an identity as an artist or a creative up until a few years ago. I just didn’t know anyone who painted or was a musician or made movies for a living. To me, filmmaking was a mythical profession that nobody actually did.

Midway through college, I was frankly not contributing much to my school or society. Not in a great place. It was only when an inebriated introduction to a girl named Sasha led to me of all people somehow dating a talented visual artist. For whatever reason, she saw in me a small, abused creative spark buried in the meandering stupor that was my existence at that point. Slowly but surely she helped me build up the courage and confidence to pursue things I didn’t realize I loved — mainly writing at that time. I took a couple of classes, started writing screenplays, then picked up a camera, started a commercial production company, and I was really off to the races from there. Now I think about writing and making movies 24/7. My level of comfort with this new identity wavers constantly, but hopefully one day it will feel natural to call myself a filmmaker. Self-association with the term “artist” will likely forever elude me…And that’s okay.

Please tell us about your art.
I don’t really consider myself as an artist. I think that word is too flattering to describe myself. I would say I’m a photographer and a filmmaker. Even those words seem too grand…I take photos and make videos. That seems a truthful description. My work is a product of a lot of experimentation and learning. I started my filmmaking career working for clients, and the conceit or purpose of my personal work is something I still grapple with defining. With photographs, I try to capture an image that represents the spirit of the subject. Or I pick a mood and use color, light, the setting to convey that desired emotion.

With filmmaking, I try to create something that thrills, makes you laugh and ultimately has a solid theme. My biggest fear is creating something that has no soul. Even if the theme is as simple as “it’s better to have loved and lost than never loved at all” — and it’s well-executed — …the film should have value.

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
If you’re like me and making work hasn’t been your principle calling since you were a toddler, there is merit in quantity. Don’t shoot your wad or hang your hat on one project. You need to improve and that only comes from excessive and continual creation.

I recently made a film for way more money than I had done to this point. The reason being, I wanted to feel like a real director and have a real film. Now that I have the film, all I want to do is make the next one anyway. I was itching to get it finished not because then and only then would I feel comfortable calling myself a director…but because I wanted it over and done with to make another one.

Instead of pouring money into something, try shooting on super 8 films, try creating in a completely different medium, try-scoring your own film on a small project. All of these experiences would be more valuable than having one single finished project. And you’ll likely grow three times more as an artist.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can check out my website at www.matthewgenecov.com or my Instagram @matt_genecov. If you are an actor or model, please reach out through Instagram. I am always looking for new subjects and collaborators!

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Image Credit:
Matthew Genecov, Sasha Fishman, Carlos Suárez

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