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Artist Spotlight | Moniker Foundation


Foundation Artist Spotlight: MATT SMALL 

Primarily a painter, London based Small has a strong, compelling style, often choosing discarded objects like car bonnets or old signs instead of canvas for his work. “The theme of my work is young, dispossessed people: individuals who feel undervalued, who don’t have a voice, who get looked over.”


Small explains how the urban debris he paints on becomes symbolic of the feeling of being without value: “I thought it’d be interesting to connect the two – that oven door, that shelving unit, that piece of trash to someone – I don’t see it like that, I see that it can be something beautiful and worthwhile. That’s how I see our young people too. Let’s look at their potential, at the hope that’s in all of them

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The Foundation has added Matt Small’s This Is England series to its collection. The project was created to depict the full England squad and manager of the EURO 2020 England football team - a group of players from a diverse set of backgrounds who made history with their sporting achievement and their ability to engage and inspire the nation. Commissioned by the Football Association, all portraits were exhibited at the St George’s Park training ground during the EURO 2020 finals in summer 2021.


Matt Small comments, When I made these artworks it was my intention to celebrate not only the players sporting achievements but acknowledge that, through their defiant actions on the field of play and determined desire to speak out against social ills, they had become a symbol of a modern progressive multi-cultural England. It is great the portraits can now remain together and be a testament to the teams inspiring actions that showed us how we can work together to make the country a better place for us all.


The artworks are a celebration of what the team has come to represent, inclusion, diversity and acceptance. The players themselves hail from a variety of backgrounds from all across the country and have become a symbol of an England that belongs to every race, religion and ethnicity.

Each portrait was painted using a multitude of swirling intermixing colours to illustrate the dynamic individuality of each squad member alongside a geometric St. George's flag background constructed from individually cut wood panels showing that as a team they are all united in their desire to do the country proud.

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