In the vibrant streets of Los Angeles, where murals come to life with stories of resilience, activism, and hope, one name stands out—Corie Mattie, the creative force behind "LA Hope Dealer." In the wake of George Floyd's tragic murder, Corie found herself compelled to transform the city's walls into a canvas of protest and introspection, boldly declaring, "Racism is a Pandemic."
Unveiling LA Hope Dealer: A Convergence of Art, Activism, and Social Commentary
Originally from South Jersey, Corie Mattie took an unconventional route from a career in sports management to becoming the street artist known as "LA Hope Dealer." Drawing inspiration from the likes of Barbara Krueger and Shepard Fairey, her murals blend elements of pop art with social commentary, creating a visual symphony that resonates with the diverse tapestry of Los Angeles.
The Catalyst: 2020 Pandemic
Corie Mattie never intended to be a street artist. But when the coronavirus pandemic hit, the Los Angeles-based artist lost her part-time job and her commissions dried up. So, inspired by her doctor brother who was frustrated with people not taking COVID-19 seriously, she found a wall and painted her first piece on the street, “Cancel Plans. Not Humanity.” "It happened by accident, and when it did, I was like, OK, wow, this is what I am meant to do," said Corie Mattie of her optimism-spreading work.
Further Ignition: George Floyd's Tragic Murder and Art as Activism
Corie's journey into painting activism on murals was further ignited by the brutal assault and murder of George Floyd, an event that shook the nation. Corie instead channeled her emotions into her art. Her murals, adorned with the powerful statement "Racism is a Pandemic," serve as poignant reminders of the systemic issues plaguing society.
Art as a Mirror: Corie's Vision for Connection and Reflection
When asked about her work, Corie Mattie explains, "I want my art to be applied to viewers' personal experiences and have people attach meaning to it in any way they see fit. Art is meant for interpretation." Her distinctive style serves a dual purpose—some pieces uplift and connect, while others stop viewers in their tracks, urging them to contemplate the societal issues embedded in the artwork.
The Evolution of Expression: Corie Mattie as Artist and Poet
In the face of dissonance and backlash, Corie remains resolute in her mission. While acknowledging her roots in creating art about heartbreak and sex, her primary focus most recently lies on Women's Rights, LGBTQ+, Equality/Race, Humanity, and Animal Rights. Drawing inspiration directly from the news, Corie's art is a dynamic force that not only adorns walls but leaps off them, demanding attention and action.
The Power of Hope: How Our Pain Ends
"Artists are problem solvers," declares Corie Mattie. For her, HOPE stands for How Our Pain Ends. She is not merely an artist; she is a poet, a provocateur of thought, and a beacon of hope in a world grappling with its challenges. Through her murals, Corie invites us to confront uncomfortable truths, challenging us to evolve and grow while emphasizing our shared humanity.
Where concrete meets creativity, LA Hope Dealer's murals stand tall as a testament to the transformative power of art in addressing systemic racism. Corie Mattie's vision goes beyond aesthetics—it's a call to action, a declaration that art is not just a reflection of society but a catalyst for change.
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