Is Everything Art? Talking Trumpets, Humor, and New Media with Matt Starr

“This is my first interview off Adderall ever.”


Matt Starr has been taking Adderall since he was 9 years old. When I finally reached the New York City based artist on the phone, he was exiting a subway station and apologized for the noise. “Sorry,” he said, “I’m trying to buy a trumpet and I keep getting lost.” It seemed like a fitting introduction. When confined to the limits of language, he describes himself as a New Media Artist and Conceptual Comedian. Looking to his work, it’s easy to understand why words don’t quite suffice to capture everything that he creates. For Starr, it’s not the medium that matters as much as the message behind it. Whether it’s an installation, video projection, conceptual brand, or the pioneering of a fashion movement dedicated to a regression back to infancy, Starr uses whatever tools he needs to get the job done. Sometimes that tool is a bottle of Pepto Bismol; other times it’s a FaceTime conversation with super model Cara Delevingne. Starr effectively and creatively engages his audience, mastering a perfect balance of popular culture and quotidian comforts. His use of familiar objects, places, and even sentiments democratize his work for the masses, and it’s hard to view his art without smiling, cringing, agreeing, or simply wanting to know more. He is quirky and intelligent, playful yet sharp. Starr’s wit and humor shine through, and we enjoyed getting to ask him a few more questions regarding the nature of his work.


MOMENT: On the Move

Haven’t we been here before?

in this exact same situation.

I chase you; Streets. Tunnel vision.

You resist because

it helps your ego.

I feel as though I had a soul mate

and I forgot them.

Whoever it is, I miss our

fun times;




unexpected visits,

a sense of possibility in every moment,

as though we could cross oceans.

“Have a ride if you like

on my scooter”

With one foot

placed firm on

the scooter

the other

pushed away

the hard ground.

Saying yes was always her.

That was her thing.

And I used to laugh

because it was so


Because I liked it.

I didn’t need an answer

but I asked her why


She said she didn’t know.

It was just something

she did.

That scooter

and I have something

in common.

We travel too fast.

Too fast to fall in love.

The head over

heels type love.

Except with her.

HUE: Fuzzy Wuzzy

Color conducts emotion. We feel blue, we see red, and we turn green with envy. We’re tickled pink and when we’re overwhelmed by joy, some call the experience “fuzzy wuzzy,” but not because it reminds us a of reddish-brown.

. .

Or does it remind us of The Isabella Tiger Moth that dwells in the arctic?

. .

It’s abundantly fuzzy progeny is appropriately called The Woolly Bear larva and it emerges from the egg in the fall.

. .

If fuzzy wuzzy had a temperature it would be about 26.666 degrees Celsius — not here, not now. During the arctic winters the Woolly Bear survives being frozen by producing a cryoprotectant in its tissues.

. .

In my mind, cold and fuzzy wuzzy could never be in the same sentence (unless of course I’m talking about how they can’t be in the same sentence).

. .

The Woolly Bear larva feels fuzzy wuzzy because of the cryoprotectant, not because of it’s fuzz.

. .

In most temperate climates, caterpillars become moths within months of hatching, but in the Arctic the summer period for vegetative growth – and hence feeding – is so short that the Woolly Bear must feed for several summers, freezing again each winter before finally pupating. Some are known to live through as many as 14 winters.

. .

The thought of winter weather during the summer or summer weather during the winter. Fuzzy wuzzy is a feeling.

. .

Let’s not forget where ‘fuzzy wuzzy’ was first used.

. .

Before people felt all fuzzy wuzzy, or saw something that was fuzzy wuzzy. It was a plant.

. .

Kalanchoe tomentosa, also known by it’s common name, fuzzy wuzzy. A succulent.

. .

Succulent fuzzy wuzzy. Yes.

. .

A native of Madagascar, it is a popular houseplant on account of its small size, ease of care, and dark-red rimmed foliage. It’s a pleasure to have.

. .

Pleasure and fuzzy wuzzy. Yes.

. .

Hadendoa is the name of a nomadic subdivision of the Beja people. The area inhabited by the Hadendoa which is today parts of Sudan, Egypt and Eritrea.

. .

“Fuzzy-Wuzzy” was used by British soldiers in the 19th century as a name for Hadendoa warriors referring to their elaborate hairstyles during the Mahdist War.

. .

Osman Digna was a Mahdist general who led the Hadendoa to break a British infantry square in the Battle of Tamai, although he ultimately lost the battle itself. Wonder if he felt fuzzy wuzzy then.

. .

The Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels was the name given by Australian troops to a group of Papua New Guinean people who, during World War II, assisted and escorted injured Australian troops down the Kokoda trail.

. .

FEATURE: Cory Joseph

Cory Joseph is a young writer from Hudson County NJ. His content gives the audience a perspective into, not only how he feels, but how he thinks.
Despite how cold it’s been outside, I was eager to arrange a sit-down with him. I told Cory that I’d be photographing him & accordingly and very self aware he picked a spot very endearing and significant to his upbringing. The view to New York has always been inspiring and calming to him. No matter what has been going on, he’s been able to come back to this spot and just be at ease.

Cory grew up in North Jersey and still resides there with his older brother. His brother is who to blame for Cory’s love of art. With his brother being a songwriter, like any young brother would do, Cory followed in his footsteps. He joined a band and started writing songs for them. “The lead singer asked me to write songs for him, that’s when I realized my writing had potential to be liked” Cory said. “But the first time I actually realized people could have an emotional reaction was when my 8th grade teacher assigned us a one page free write on what we would do if we had one month to live. My paper made the teacher cry.” Moments like that are what makes individuals follow their passions.

Since then Cory has been honing his skills. “Writing prose has to be my favorite thing to write,” Cory says, “second has to be poetry.” Currently, Cory has a series in his blog dedicated to getting extremely personal with his readers. It starts at A & each letter has 10 parts, currently he is working on J.

Not too long ago, Cory got in a coaching accident that temporarily took his ability to read and write away. “I had what I love the most taken away from me for almost 3 months,” He had to relearn to write. He’s rebuilding his way back to health with great diligence and it his recent work shows that he’s back, if not, better than he was pre-accident.

His prose have a certain rhythm and diction and even though they don’t rhyme he expresses it in a way that make the reader feel as if they do. Cory’s craft is very personal. You get a sincere sense of the things he’s feeling and you can tell he holds nothing back. “I’ve always had to tell the girls I’m dating not to read my writing for a few days after we’ve gotten in arguments,” He just free writes and lets his pen get the best of him which proves to be a great way to express himself.