A Look Inside MATTE BLACK, NYC’s Ultimate Art Rave

A Look Inside MATTE BLACK, NYC’s Ultimate Art Rave

A Look Inside MATTE BLACK, NYC’s Ultimate Art Rave

Join VMAN as we watch Peggy Gou, Heron Preston and others light up the Knockdown Center

Join VMAN as we watch Peggy Gou, Heron Preston and others light up the Knockdown Center

Text: Kala Herh

As if you didn’t already know – New York is back (and better than ever, may we add). Over the past few months, there has been a rapid revival of concerts, fashion shows and raves that have dotted the Empire State. Among them is MATTE Black, a two-night visual art and sound experience curated by MATTE Projects. This year, MATTE took over the sprawling Queens warehouse, the Knockdown Center. And their first night was filled with headbanging, floor-shaking performances from Peggy Gou, Heron Preston, and Marcel Dettmann. Showcasing artists also included 404.zero, Ivan Navarro and Jacolby Satterwhite, who created a slew of site-specific multimedia arts. Combining this generation’s hottest electronic musicians with contemporary art installations, this year’s experience was nothing short of ecstatic. 

​​“I think it’s important that BLACK is not defined by one genre,” co-founder of MATTE, Max Pollack says. “It’s really in a lot of ways an event that showcases and kind of brings together lots of different forms of music and art.”

And while this year welcomes the event’s return after two years, it is also special because it marks BLACK’s 10-year-anniversary. With this celebration, they launched a new web3 platform, called MATTE.WORLD. Here, guests and fans can gain access to exclusive monthly events, the brand’s merch collaborations, and of course, view and purchase NFT art. And all these new initiatives align themselves with the ethos of Matte Projects, which at the heart is innovation and creativity. The creative studio is always looking to push the boundaries of what traditional experiences can be and transgress the conventional lines that keep art and music separate.

“This year’s lineup alongside our new metaverse offering brings 10 years of MATTE all together, 360 degrees of music, art and technology,” Pollack elaborates. 

We sat down with one of the night's headliners, Peggy Gou, to get a better look at the night.

VMAN: Hi Peggy! We saw your New York show last weekend and it was insane! Can you describe the feeling of the crowd?

PEGGY GOU: It was an amazing feeling to come back after more than two years! The crowd brought so much energy to the show and it felt to me there was a high appreciation for the music in the air and an excitement to be back together, dancing and having fun. I was very happy as there was one of the most diverse lineups and It definitely was the perfect finale to my US tour!

VMAN: I also saw you get a blowup giraffe from the crowd, what was that like? Did you expect it? Why do you love giraffes so much?

PG: The thought of someone making the effort to bring a giant inflated giraffe to a club for me is just so cute! People who have been to shows of mine know that I am a big fan of giraffes - they make me feel calm and have grown to be a representative symbol for me. So I love when stuff like this connects me with the crowd during my shows!

VMAN: Can you also take us through your outfit for that night? What were you wearing and what did you love about it? How do you usually pick outfits for performances?

PG: What I wear for my shows has become a part of my performance for me so I try to match my clothes with the gig and energy of each night. After a month of traveling to various different countries and weathers and shopping a little bit, my suitcase was almost blowing up - the vest and shoes I wore I got in LA during my trip and they felt like the perfect choice for my last gig in the US.

VMAN: When you do a performance or show like this what do you hope to bring to the audience?

PG: The only hope I have when I perform is that people go home with new, great memories that brings them joy and love and makes them remember how much fun they had. I want to leave my crowds with something to remember and have them talk about it in their future like, 'do you remember this night?'

VMAN: The performance for MATTE Black also featured performances by Marcel Dettmann and Heron Preston. Were you fans of them from before? If so, what do you love about them?

PG: I have always been a fan of Marcel - he is one of the nicest and sweetest people in this industry and I was thrilled to be playing together with him for the first time! I never heard Heron djing before and didn't know what kind of music he plays but he was absolutely smashing it with 140bpm! This show had a particularly interesting lineup and I am glad I got to be a part of it.

Take a look at some more behind-the-scenes photos below and start preparing yourself for next year’s experience. 

Peggy Gou courtesy of BFA
Photo courtesy of Samantha Bloom
Photo courtesy of BFA
Heron Preston courtesy of BFA
Peggy Gou by Samantha Bloom
Photo courtesy of BFA
Photo courtesy of Samantha Bloom
Ivan Navarro's work, photo courtesy of BFA
Peggy Gou courtesy of BFA
Photo courtesy of BFA
Photo courtesy of BFA

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