The Hope of Corie Mattie

Claudio Zonta SJ

 Claudio Zonta SJ / Art / Published Date:7 May 2021/Last Updated Date:19 May 2021

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American street artist Corie Mattie is better known as the “LA Hope Dealer.” She uses the street and walls as frames for her art, which is a communication of meaning and a reflection on the ethical principles of respect and tolerance.

Born on the East Coast of the United States, she moved to Los Angeles. Returning east to study at the University of Maryland, Corie later finishing her education with a master’s degree at Georgetown University. She says about her life and work, “When my murals or pieces touch and inspire people, it reminds me of why I took this leap.”

Our troubled times have become the space to face and read reality, helping to create a light of hope on the challenges of society and the world.

La Civilta Cattolica

As she states on a Facebook post, “The idea behind LA Hope Dealer is to bring hope not only to Los Angeles, but to the entire world. The problem we are facing is global, and I wanted to create images that bring hope and awareness in a creative and uplifting way. We are all in the same boat, facing different storms. I want the LA Hope Dealer to be the symbol of hope and inspiration even after the dust has settled.”

The hope-filled title, “After the plague came the Renaissance,” reminds us how after every period of crisis a human and cultural rebirth has always been possible. The sentence is subdivided and placed at the two sides of the entrance to a closed restaurant in a street in Santa Monica. To accompany the title she painted, on a plain yellow background, two human arms that recall Michelangelo’s masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel, “The Creation of Adam,” the avatar of the Renaissance.

The street artist communicates the hope of a new creation in a postmodern society, hard hit by the pandemic crisis. At the center, on the restaurant’s front door, there are doves in flight, recalling an episode from the book of Genesis (cf. Gen 8:8), Noah’s hope that the waters are subsiding. These doves do not yet bear the olive branch in their beaks, but they are the bearers of a hope that everything will return to normal in the short term.

DOI: La Civiltà Cattolica, En. Ed. Vol. 5, no. 5 art. 17,  0521: 10.32009/22072446.0521.17