Artist in Residence: Inside Cold War Kids' Matt Maust's L.A. Studio

Jillian Knox Finley

Art is anything. As editors, we’re continually fascinated by both the process and physical space in which creativity is allowed to thrive. In our new Artist in Residence series, we’ll be touring the residences and studios that our top ranked tastemakers call home. Each month, we’ll select a singular and distinctive guide to take us down the rabbit hole of the American art scene. Our first subject is one of our favorite local muses.

Meet musician and mixed-media artist Matt Maust. The bassist and visual director of Southern California-based band Cold War Kids, Maust happens to be one of the most prolific, humble, and good-humored artists in the greater L.A. area. His mercurial tastes and abilities beget an adaptable style that runs the gamut from neon installations to splatter-painted VHS tapes. He’s also arguably the most gratifying person to shoot the breeze with about T-shirts and John Turturro.

Maust took us inside his artful East L.A. abode (which boasts one of the best gallery wall setups we’ve laid eyes on) and adjacent studio space—where he creates band cover art, massive mixed-media collages, murals, tees, lookbooks, postcards, paintings, and Instagram vibes for days. I sat down with him for a candid chat on artistic ambition, creative confidence, and why a sense of humor is the biggest ace up art’s sleeve. He generously agreed to let me record our musings.

Have a favorite artist we should know? Shout out their Instagram in the comments.

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