Matthew Brinston is known for his hair. Not in the wavy, sultry, Herbal Essences kind of way either. His half-shaven style is artfully on display, intentionally revealing a scar that resulted from a near fatal accident he survived in 2013. Serving as more than just the typical conversation starter, the scar stamps his purpose.
Delicately toying with his long, loose curls, the young model turned musician turned visual artist explains, “The doctors shaved my head for brain surgery to drain the blood that was flooding my brain out. They cut it open and shaved off the one side and nowhere else. So I keep shaving it because I like to share with people what happened and what I experienced and how it changed me.” And thus, our journey with Brinston begins.
It’s a dewy afternoon in Dallas as Brinston quietly sips his joe and sketches in a corner at Deep Ellum’s dimly lit Mokah Coffee Bar. Soft acoustic tunes fill the air, but Brinston is unwavered and intensely focused. Casually dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, the ex-Dragon Fly model exudes ease and begins preparations for his next art exhibition – a mixed media presentation combining fashion photography and paintings that he’s sure will take the Dallas art scene by storm. Considering that the young 22-year-old artist has only been full-time in his artistry since December, the signs of a budding art phenom is apparent.
Currently, Brinston has over 20 multimedia paintings on display at Mokah Gallery in Deep Ellum through an exhibition entitled, “A Battle, A Transformation.” With visually striking images painted on canvas and wooden longboards, the topic of Brinston’s own personal transformation resurfaces. “I started playing music at 16,” Brinston reminisces. “It was madness in the band I was in…just crazy, selfish living, and partying all of the time.” He stops sketching as familiarity with old ways and toxic habits bubble to the surface.
Brinston describes his prior life as an alt-rock musician and moves into discussions of November 4, 2013 – the night that changed his life forever. As a passenger on his friend’s motorcycle, the striking artist goes into details of his near fatal experience, being projected head first into a Dart Rail Station in downtown Dallas. “There’s still a dent today at the Dart Rail Station where I hit,” Brinston muses. “There’s an indention…it looks like a neck.” Casually he crosses his legs and moves on to chart his personal struggles with life after emerging from a coma where doctors had previously pronounced him dead.
“My life change was not immediate. I was bitter and mad. I just kept going over and over in my head [the accident] a thousand times…how I could have changed everything and wanted my old life back. It took a year or so for me to really realize what all of that was for and the meaning behind it all,” Brinston says. He swishes his last sip of coffee, stands long and lean, and humbly leads the way into the adjoining Mokah Gallery where his personal exhibition is on display.
Following the accident, Brinston parted ways from his band – walking away from a long-awaited management contract and severing relationships with bandmates along the way. Receiving a prophetic word from a complete stranger, it was revealed that Brinston’s influence in life would be through his artwork. So Brinston focused on painting — creating 50 plus paintings in the past year alone. “I’m trying not to stop the creative flow,” he adds.
Now peering piece by piece of his current works of “A Battle, A Transformation”, visuals of bulls and swans strike the canvas – an epic battle of dark versus light, with internal struggles seasoned by hope. The 20 plus paintings represent Brinston’s personal recovery following the accident, with a now positive transformation into his future self.
A breakthrough artist highlighted by the Dallas Observer’s Artopia, the Janette Kennedy Gallery, The Ant Colony Gallery and The Misfit Gallery, Brinston through tragedy has found his purpose. Dishing exclusively to DFW Style Daily, the talented artist gave us details on his upcoming fashion meets visual artistry collaboration with Dallas photographer Nicolette Milet.
“It will be a unique mixed media presentation,” Brinston explains. “Think of it as a collaboration of photography and painting. There will be 3 or 4 models wearing white clothes. Nicolette will get prints made of the photographs she takes of the models and then I will paint on the prints. From there, we will have final prints made. It will be amazing. I like to portray movement in my paintings, and I think that goes well with fashion; people walking across something or the movement of their bodies. I love natural, organic movements and that’s what people can expect from this collab.”
Coming soon to a gallery near you, we advise heavily to keep up with our Event Calendar and to save the date for this unique presentation of fashion and art. Brinston’s current exhibit at Mokah Gallery in Life In Deep Ellum will be on display until March 28. Visit our Events Calendar for more details on the closing reception celebration.