Born the the 1970’s in a sleepy, suburban hamlet of New York City, Matt diLeo began drawing as a child. The energy and pulse of the city during those early years served to capture his imagination. In his mind, the effect was as though his life took place inside a moving picture colored by the elements of popular American culture at the time. He was being influenced by the films of Scorsese and Ford Coppola, the futuristic visions of Star Trek, and the theatrical aesthetics of the rock band, Kiss. The centrifugal force of these influences drew him to a life in art.
In 1991, he received a full scholarship to attend art school. In that time, he would come to be influenced by Marie Roberts, most notably known for her side show banners in Brooklyn’s Coney Island. She emphasized the importance of character, authenticity, a disciplined work ethic, and being mutable while engaging in the process of making art. diLeo has clung to those tenets throughout his artistic career.
In 2004, diLeo received an MFA from Montclair State University. Though initially resistant to what he perceived as excessive structure, the experience compelled him to find grounding in various artistic communities and to examine his life experiences. As a result, he began to fuel his imagination with countercultural icons and themes, and to refine his artistic voice. Despite the exigencies of art in an academic setting, he came to believe that Art reveals itself when the artist is sufficiently open and prepared. This posture and the accessibility of diLeo’s work serve to transmute the artists’ experiences and emotions for transmission to his audience with visceral impact.
In the Fall of 2004 he moved to Portland, Oregon where he continues to live and create art in various media.