What's not to love about Tom Matousek’s Flames of Maleficent embellished giclee on canvas? The Mistress of All Evil surely has something nefarious up her sleeve... Is it her cunningly sheepish grin or the flames curling up below her that give her away? Either way, you know that she belongs in your home.
Maleficent first makes her appearance in Walt Disney Pictures' 16th animated feature film Sleeping Beauty (1959). She is an evil fairy and the self-proclaimed "Mistress of All Evil" who, after not being invited to a christening, curses the infant Princess Aurora to "prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die" before the sun sets on Aurora's sixteenth birthday. She was voiced by Eleanor Audley, who had previously performed Lady Tremaine, Cinderella's evil stepmother, in Cinderella. Audley also provided some live-action recording for both characters, to inspire the animators. In addition, dancer Jane Fowler performed some live-action reference for Maleficent. Animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas, in their book The Disney Villain, describe animating Audley's voice as "a difficult assignment but a thrilling one, working to that voice track with so much innuendo mixed in with the fierce power." Marc Davis' decision to make Maleficent a powerful fairy rather than an old crone may also have been influenced by Eleanor Audley's voice, which he recalled suggested a very powerful character. With her dark, elegant design, dramatic and flamboyant animation and unlimited arsenal of magic powers at her command, Maleficent are one of the most popular and recognizable Disney Villains, in addition to being one of the primary members of the official franchise.
About Tom Matousek:
“It is my desire to create abstract work that is understandable to all who view it, while at the same time provoking thought, curiosity, imagination, inspiration, and conversation.”
Tom Matousek is a San Francisco based, award winning artist, who began his artistic journey by studying cartoons as a child and in a short time, could draw almost anything from memory. “I have lots of memories of staying up late with my brother and friends, watching Creature Features and drawing anything we could get our hands on—the sports page, baseball and football cards, beverage cans and cartoon characters. I would stay in my room for hours creating my own cartoons. From the time I was a kid it was my dream to be a Disney artist.”
His meteoric rise as a prominent mural painter soon landed his artwork in the homes of professional athletes, high-end restaurants, and at AT&T Park, home of three time World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants. These commissions soon drew the eye of San Francisco’s world renowned theater district, where Tom began a career in Set Design that ultimately led him, in 2010, to win a Shellie Award, the East Bay’s version of the Tony’s.
All the while, Tom Matousek continued to experiment with portraits on canvas, using abstract shapes in order to define his artistic voice even further. It was during this explorative period that Tom began to compose faces using sharp, geometric forms. Although this style, at first glance, appears to be about the individual shapes and colors, it is more about light value, and how that causes the human eye to manipulate the shapes and colors involuntarily in order to find a cohesive form.
This breakthrough in form and style led Tom to be named the artist in residence for the DDR Corporation, which sent him to a various cities around the country to create community art projects based on his unique style. In 2013 and 2014, he was the featured artist at the world’s largest chalk festival in Pasadena, CA. And shortly after that, At Art Basel in Miami Beach, FL, BMW unveiled their i8 concept car at Tom’s show, and he had the opportunity to present the highly esteemed artist, Romero Britto, with a portrait. Upon seeing Tom’s work, Britto, who is no stranger to people painting his image, remarked, “At least 500 people have painted my portrait. Yours is the most spectacular!”
Most recently, Tom has painted for Pat Benatar, Neil Giraldo, former SVP of Google and current Softbank CEO, Nikesh Arora, and TOMS founder, Blake MyCoskie, in addition to countless portraits of celebrities, world leaders and global icons. With all of the famous faces to have graced Tom Matousek’s canvases over the years, it is only fitting that he now turn his deftly trained brush towards one of the most iconic faces in the entire world, Mickey Mouse, thus making his childhood dream of being a Disney Artist come true.