Skip to main content


Johnny Mattei

“Most artists create out of despair. The very nature of creation is not a performing glory on the outside; it’s a painful, difficult search within.” (Louise Nevelson)

Born in the South Bronx, Johnny’s work is heavily influenced by his childhood. Growing up in New York during the 1980’s, he was witness to the crime that plagued his neighborhood, which also consumed much of New York City. Even in the despair, there was beauty in the gritty streets of the South Bronx. This struggle between good and evil, beautiful and revolting, becomes the narrative in his artwork. Johnny’s creations are, in some ways, autobiographical pieces of his life. Johnny studied photography at Pratt institute and has exhibited his artwork throughout New York, Miami and Soul Korea. In addition to being an artist, he works at a nonprofit and leads an art groups for people with disabilities.

View all Instructors