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Matthew Grabelsky: An Exclusive Interview with A.I.M.O.

Your work is so intriguing to me! The way you juxtapose people with animals is simply exquisite. When was the first time you combined the two subjects together?

The first painting I did with someone with an animal head was back in 2011. I was living in Paris and had come back to New York to visit family. I was on the subway and I snapped a photo of a quirky couple sitting across from me. When I looked at the photo later on the idea to add an animal just popped into my head.

What is your preferred medium of choice?

All my paintings are done with oil. These days I mostly paint on panel because I like the look of the smooth surface.

When was your first show and what was showcased?

The first show I ever had was when I was in third grade. I had this amazing art teacher and she arranged for us to display some of our work at a local bank in New York. My piece was this little sculpture of a made up mythological creature.

What art hangs on your walls?

It’s a mix of paintings, prints, and drawings. Some are mine and the others are by friends and family. My grandmother was a painter so I have some pieces from her. Recently my dad has gotten into printmaking so I have his work up as well. The rest are paintings that I’ve gotten from trades with artist friends.

If you could collaborate with any artist- who would it be with and why?

Three of my greatest artistic idols are filmmakers: David Lynch, Terry Gilliam and Guillermo del Toro. I love how they combine reality with surrealism in their films. To collaborate with any of them would be amazing.

What is next for you?

Right now I’m working on a bunch of new paintings for a show at Spoke Art in New York that opens November 11th. This is the first time I’ll be showing my subway paintings at a gallery in New York and I’m really excited about that.

Where can our readers learn more about both you and your work?

My website ( has links to articles about my work as well as bunch of interviews I’ve done and also lists upcoming shows where you can see my work in person. My instagram is @grabelsky. You can also grab prints of some of my paintings at

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