Daina Mattis

b. Los Angeles, CA


My work focuses on social relationships.  Not specifically mine, nor any particular individual’s, but rather from a macro-perspective.  I am a visual artist who creates drawings, paintings and sculptures using the monolithic and iconic to better understand our being/presence outside of our singular bodies.  My work has evolved from the individual confines of identity and narrative towards exploring collective behavior and metaphysics.  As human beings, our identities vary as much as our fingerprints, yet I believe we find unity in detachment; understanding with repetition; embrace in mutation; and change with reflection.  My goal is to expound on our ancestral connections and the significance of our mutual relationships by creating art works that reflect mankind.  The choice of materials and imagery creates a sub-dialogue connecting time, patterns and humanity, as well as exploring innovative ways of visually communicating.  


My current work examines surface, imitation, process, forgery, consumption and perception. Through illusion, formalism and material, I slyly address the trajectory of our cultural norms. Works include paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints that reference the history of art, the Western food culture and the entertainment industry. Imagery of master copies, imitation food, and props used on film and television sets entice the viewer to consider how reality is mitigated in today’s culture and how craft is redefined. 

Striving for compositional ideals, I utilize traditional design principles of symmetry, grids and the golden ratio. Opulence is embodied in elements of marble, French curves, doilies and columns; features that ornament and frame perception. The hard edges of the paintings are shared by the physical linen; stretched, raw, exposed and nude. Physical linen surfaces are featured as object and subject, challenging illusion while cross examining the craft of the formal applications of faux painting and trompe-l’oeil.


MFA, Painting - Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, 2011
BFA, Painting and Drawing - Sculpture Minor - Laguna College of Art & Design, Laguna Beach, CA, Summa Cum Laude, 2007



Home-Ec, March 3 – 18, The Westminster Schools Gallery, Atlanta, GA

Bona Fide (2), January 21 - February 24, Azarian McCullough Art Gallery, St. Thomas Aquinas College


Vessels, High Noon Gallery, October 11 - November 11, New York, NY

Bona Fide, Blue House Gallery, November 11 – December 9, Dayton, OH

The Present Matter, SLA307 Art Space, October 21 - November 27, New York, NY

Foreign Bodies (2 person exhibition with Caitlin Foley), Arcade Gallery, Marymount College, December 2 - January 25, San Pedro, CA

Daina Mattis, Frances Keevil Art Gallery, May 18 - June 1, Double Bay, Sydney, Australia
The Wall, Syracuse University, April 1 - 30, Syracuse, NY

Daina Mattis, Sylvia White Gallery, July 8 -August 8, Ventura, CA 



Thisness and Whatness, Dates TBD, Felician University, Rutherford, NJ (upcoming)


VNO-NYC, SLA307 Art Space, December 14 - January 4, New York, NY

Making Marks, The Hardy Gallery, September 1 – October 15, Ephraim, WI
Soft Spoken, Sara Nightingale Gallery, July 22 - August 14, Sag Harbor, NY
Soft Reboot, Proto Gallery, Curated by Rob Ventura, June 3 - July 23, Hoboken, NJ
Smart Dust, SLA307 Non-Profit Art Space, Dec 9 - Jan 7, New York, NY
Flat File Program, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Dec 2016 - Nov 2017, Brooklyn, NY

Flat File: Year 4, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Dec 9 – 18, Brooklyn, NY
Išeivijos Meninikų Paroda, The Hangar Gallery South, Oct 29 - Nov 20, Santa Monica, CA
The Cooper Union Artist in Residency Exhibition, The Cooper Union, Aug 3 - 17, New York, NY
Jurors Range, The Hardy Gallery, June 17 - July 17, Ephraim, WI
Introductions, Trestle Gallery, Curated by Jim Osman, Jan 15 - Feb 19, Brooklyn, NY

The Rebirth of Wonder, Bushwick Open Studios 2015, June 5 - 7, Brooklyn, NY
Moterys Apie Moteris, Lithuanian Museum of Art, March 7 - 29, Lemont, IL 
Gallery Gala 17 Invitational, Arnot Art Museum, Feb 13 - Aug 8, Elmira, NY
30th Annual Positive/Negative, Slocumb Galleries, East Tennessee State University, Feb 1 - March 15, Johnson City, TN

The Way of the Flesh Part II, Mt. San Antonio College Art Gallery, Sept 18 - Oct 16, Walnut, CA
ARK, Charles Allis Art Museum, Aug 1 - Sept 28, Milwaukee, WI
Art from the Boros II, Denise Bibro Fine Art, June 19 - Aug 9, New York, NY
Collector’s Choice 2014, Sylvia White Gallery, April 23 - May 24, Ventura, CA
Body Language, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Curated by George Herms, April 5 - May 17, Santa Ana, CA

Creatives Rising, October 1 - 31, Long Island City, NY
Commitment and Similar Acts of Betrayal: A Contemporary Drawing Exhibit, Sarah Silberman Gallery, Feb 5 - March 1, Montgomery College, MD

Art in Miami-Context, J. Cacciola Gallery, Dec 4 - 9, Miami, FL
The Other New York, The Everson Museum of Art, Sept 22 - Jan 6, 2013, Syracuse, NY
Things Are Not What They Seem, J. Cacciola Gallery, April 3 - 28, New York, NY
Represent, Think Tank Gallery, April 12 - 30, Los Angeles, CA
Re-Placed, Brooklyn Fire Proof, March 1 - 31, Brooklyn, NY
The Figure Now, BAG Gallery, Feb 11 - 24, Brooklyn, NY 
46th Annual National Drawing & Small Sculpture Show, Del Mar College, Feb 14 - May 4, 2012, Corpus Christi, TX

On the Edge: Statements in Black & White, S-Cube Gallery, Nov 12 - Jan 30, Laguna Beach, CA
Fishing From the Beach, Dumbo Arts Center, Nov 12 - 26, Brooklyn, NY
De-Figuration, Lutheran Church of St. John the Evangelist, Brooklyn, NY
2011 MFA Thesis Exhibition, SU Art Galleries, Syracuse Univ., April 7 - May 15, Syracuse, NY
Ekphrasis, Mod Melange Exhibition, January, Los Angeles, CA
Kentucky National, Juried Exhibition, Clara M. Eagle Gallery, Murray State University, Feb 18 - March 13, Murray, KY

Syracuse University Faculty Exhibition, XL Space, Syracuse, NY
Means of Connection, Lutheran Church of St. John the Evangelist, Brooklyn, NY
Meet & Greet, Spark Gallery, Syracuse, NY
Mod Melange Exhibition, July, Los Angeles, CA
Mod Melange Exhibition, April, Factory Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY
Matrilineage Exhibition, Spark Gallery, Syracuse, NY
Selected Works, Frances Keevil Art Gallery, Feb 23 - March 14, Double Bay, Sydney, Australia
The Figure Now 2010 International Juried Exhibition, February, Fontbonne University Fine Arts Gallery, St. Louis, MO
Open Painting 2010 Juried Exhibition, Maxwell Mays Gallery at the Providence Art Club, Jan 17 - Feb 5, Providence, RI

Fairhaven Mausoleum Art Exhibition, Juried Exhibition, Santa Ana, CA
Graduate Painting, XL Projects, Syracuse, NY
Drawn In, Works on Paper Exhibition, Frances Keevil Art Gallery, June 26 - July 4, Sydney, Australia
Drawing, XL Projects, Syracuse, NY
Australian Lithuanian Art Exhibit, Bansktown Town Hall, Sydney, Australia
Graduate Drawing Exhibition, The Wall, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
The Nude in Contemporary Art, A National Juried Exhibition, A.D. Gallery, University of North Carolina, Jan 26 - Feb 25, Pembroke, NC

Sotto Voce, Fairhaven Mausoleum, Juried Exhibition, Santa Ana, CA
Feminism Rhetoric, Spark Gallery, Syracuse, NY
MFA Exhibition, Spark Gallery, Syracuse, NY
Graduate Painting Exhibition, The Wall, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Capturing the Force of Stillness, Fairhaven Mausoleum, Juried Exhibition, Santa Ana, CA
Fine Arts Exhibition, 7 Degrees Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA
The Romance of Prague, the Glory of Vienna, Laguna College of Art & Design, Laguna Beach, CA


Artist in Residency at The Cooper Union School of Art, New York, NY, 2016
Nancy Jermanovich Award for Work in Drawing, Syracuse University, NY, 2011
Joan Mitchell MFA Nominee, Syracuse University, NY, 2011
Filisterės Gražinos Musteikytės Grand Scholarship, Vydunas Fund, Lemont, IL, 2011
Dorthea I. Shaffer Award, Syracuse University, NY, 2010
Jerome Solomon Memorial Scholarship, Syracuse University, NY, 2009
Best Thesis Award, Fine Arts, Laguna College of Art & Design, Laguna Beach, CA, 2007
First Place Sculpture, The Pacific Art Foundation, Laguna Beach, CA, 2007
Plotkin Award, Peter & Masha Plotkin Memorial Foundation, Lake Forest, CA, 2006
Best of Show, The Pacific Art Foundation, Laguna Beach, CA, 2006
First Place, Mixed Medium, Santa Ana Art Association, Santa Ana, CA, 2006


James and Rosemary Nix Nature Center, Laguna Beach, CA
Laguna College of Art & Design, Laguna Beach, CA 
Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut, CA
SLA307 Non-Profit Art Space, New York, NY



Thisness and Whatness, Exhibition Catalogue, Felician University, Essay by Stephen Maine 

"Be A Body: Shows Around New York Take Up the Materiality of Screen-Based Work,", ARTNEWS, Nov. 29, by Rahel Aima

Vessels, Exhibition Catalogue, High Noon Gallery, Essay by Tom McGlynn

"Cooper Union Summer Art Intensive 2016 Anthology," The Cooper Union, 2016
Recommended: “Introductions 2016” at Trestle, Sharon Butler, twocoatsofpaint.com, Jan 26, 2016
Fresh Paint Magazine, Dec Ed., Juror, Danielle Krysa – The Jealous Curato
r, 2015
"Landing a Job in Academia," Matthew Daub, Professional Artist Magazine, Aug/Sep, pg. 28 - 37, 2015
The Way of the Flesh Part II, Exhibition Catalogue, Mt. San Antonio College. Curated by Fatemeh Burnes, Essay by John Seed, Walnut, CA, 2014
"‘Unis’ at Charles Allis Museum: Unicorns Alive and Well on the East Side," Kat Murrell, shepherdexpress.com, Aug 27, 2014
Body Language, Exhibition Catalogue, Curated by George Herms, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA, 2014
Studio Visit Magazine, Volume 21, Curated by Dina Deitsch, Senior Curator of deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum, 2014
Daina Mattis, J. Cacciola Gallery, Forward by Jared Linge, New York, NY, 2014
The Other New York 2012, Exhibition Catalogue, The Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY, 2012
On the Edge: Statements in Black and White, S-Cube Gallery, Exhibition Catalogue, Essay by Peter Frank, Laguna Beach, CA, 2011
Fishing From the Beach, Syracuse University Exhibition Catalogue, Introduction by David Ross, Curatorial Essay by Bard Curatorial Candidates: Janine Armin, Rachel Cook, Suzy Halajian, and Leora Morinis, 2011
"Head of the Class," The Post-Standard, Art, Page 12, Sunday, May 1, 2011, Syracuse NY
Riviera, Modern Luxury Magazine, December, pg. 20 & 74, 2010 
Kentucky National 2011 Catalogue, Clara M. Eagle Gallery, Murray State University, Murray, KY