Artist Interview: Sighn

This is part of a companion piece which I wrote for The Show ‘N Tell Show’s new project, to launch in 2011.

For Matthew Hoffman it’s all about identity. On the casual outward glance he’s a 9-5er, a career oriented young chap, probably unknown to some as…shhhh….an artist. But over wayside he runs Multi-Polar Projects, a rep house for artists Sighn, H. Mathis, Ervin Orion and Mateo. An art collective of four dudes pursing their own separate works. Which is bad-ass alone, yet is ostensibly all very straight-forward, until you learn the entire Multi-Polar Projects crew is just a single person. Hoffman. Which then begs the question, where is the artist and where is the person? And also how? And…When does the sleeping happen?

It’s not really a question that needs answering, it’s a delightful enough proposition on its own. It’s seems to be merely the only way Hoffman knows how to be an artist. It’s ingrained in his process and can’t be teased out.

Better still? He’s dropping a new project after a year-long art-making hiatus.

Sighn’s the moniker responsible, working in his typical text-only emotive style. Playing off his ongoing ITSOKAY Project, What Wood You Say, reads like the opposite of an instant message. As the Tweeps and Facespaces erupt with millions of electronic blurbs per day and viral campaign after campaign goes zipping into internet obscurity, he’s busy carving pithy witticisms out of wood. A permanent snap-shot of communication, forged from materials that once grew in the earth. Part sculpture, part talisman, all parts delicious typography and wordplay, you’d have to be a cyborg not to have feeeeeeelings when taking in the work. Custom phrases of your choosing are also available until the end of the year.

I shot Sighn a request to answer some light-hearted interview questions, and what ensued was an extensive back-and-forth between myself, Sighn, H. Mathis, and Multi-Polar Projects. Hilarious because Hoffman’s playing all the parts from separate addresses, poking fun at himself the entire time. In the end it ended up as a snarky not-so-subtle, and entirely unintentional, jab at long annoying email chains. Oh my stars and garters kids, this email at its most artistic (and meta) indeed… For this designer, blogger and typography geek, that’s the black hole of perfect.

So here you go: H. Mathis’ illustrated responses to Sighn’s interview questions. By Matthew Hoffman. I think.

1. Doodle a story that your son told you:


2. Make us a Venn Diagram:

3. Draw a fuck-up that you ended up liking and used in your work:

4. What is it exactly that’s on the inside?

5. Draw your process:

6. A love letter to your favorite snack:

I guess this is what I call reinventing being an artist. Old schooling the new school. And there’s no tells just how far this kid can go. It’s mayhem! Mania! It’s going to rule, bro. Someone please save me from myself, before there’s ecstatic-induced vomiting like that kid in Adam Sandler’s Big Daddy.

Learn more and order your own piece here. Letters are 2.75″ tall and approximately 12 characters per foot, cut from 3/8″ basswood. $5/character, 50 character limit.


Amma Brown

What a fascinating person(s?)! I love the process flowchart. Its interesting to see how the processes of others can mirror your own and yet be completely different.


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