Back in the saddle

I’ve finally beaten back the beast- the Spanish bureaucracy- for the time being. Both of my kids are studying at different universities here in Barcelona, we bought a flat, and visas are figured out for the next 4-5 years. I share a beautiful studio from the 1800’s with 3 Argentinians and we communicate exclusively in Spanish. It’s taken a lot of work to pull this off, but I can’t imagine a better life. Art-wise, I’m finally producing again. I finished a couple of commissions recently and delivered them during a... Read The Rest →


I’m back from my disappearing act. The past year has been very disruptive, no doubt, but it has also allowed me to focus on aspects of my life that surely would have gone by the wayside had the brakes not been slammed on so hard. I’m currently living in Barcelona, Spain, with both of my adult children (my poor wife is stuck working in Texas for the time being). Both of my kids are enrolled in different universities here. It has been a monumental task to get us all here,... Read The Rest →

Gold Award

The Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles (SILA) recently gave me the Gold Award in their 57th Illustration West competition…which features the year’s best illustrations. The award was for the cover of the recently released, “The Labyrinth of the Spirits”, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. My illustration has also been highlighted on their homepage (it’s the only image that appears from the competition).

Last week of solo show at Arden Gallery

Well, I keep forgetting that my Instagram feed is NOT my website.  If you’re following me on Instagram (@mattduffinfineart), then you are aware that my solo show at Arden Gallery in Boston opened October 1st.  It has been a good show-  Arden has already placed a couple of pieces, including my largest piece to date.  The work will remain in the gallery after the show and can be viewed here.

NYTimes Bestseller!

The Labyrinth of the Spirits was released by HarperCollins September 18th and spent the first few weeks on the NYTimes Bestseller List. I’m really happy with how the cover turned out- can’t heap enough praise on Milan Bozic, the designer, for trusting me with the overall design of the art. It was a great collaborative effort: his typographic overlay was the perfect complement for the image. Looking forward to getting a copy.

Seattle Art Fair

I was recently asked by Stewart Gallery to participate in the Seattle Art Fair.  The fair was founded in 2015 by Paul Allen- though it’s fairly new, this year’s roster included some of the top galleries in New York and beyond.  Stephanie Wilde, owner of Stewart Gallery, wanted to exhibit just a few artists with the idea of getting “new eyes on the work.”  Luckily for me, the timing was good, and I was able to send a couple of examples of a new wildlife theme that I am working... Read The Rest →

American Illustration 37

Just got word that a piece that was used for a Collective Arts beer bottle/can label made it into Ai-Ap 37, the annual juried publication of some of the best illustration around. They chose 367 out of the 8,000+ images submitted. Jurors were from The New York Times Op-ed, Google, Simon and Schuster, and Scientific American among others. This is the sixth year in a row that I’ve gotten into American Illustration- the previous selections led to jobs with The New York Times Magazine, Penguin, HarperCollins, The Southern Poverty Law... Read The Rest →

Carlos Ruiz Zafón Book Cover

Once again, I need to thank my lucky stars and acknowledge that exposure from the annual American Illustration (AI) competitions is invaluable. Last go round, the New York Times saw the work that made it into AI and offered me the Colson Whitehead excerpt job. This time, it was HarperCollins, who approached me after seeing the New York Times illustrations that were included in AI 37, the most recent version of the competition. I think I’m noticing a pattern! No doubt, it’s time to put to rest the question of... Read The Rest →

New York Times Magazine images/writeup

For those of you who were not able to get the New York Times last weekend, here are my illustrations that were part of the Colson Whitehead Underground Railroad project with the New York Times Magazine.  Also, here is a link to a nice writeup on the project by Eye Magazine (  

New York Times Magazine

So I just finished a project for the New York Times Magazine.  It was short, very intense and super fun.  I collaborated with Gail Bichler, the magazine’s Design Director to produce a stand-alone section of the paper,  cover and all.  The stand-alone broadsheet,  as it’s called, is the first of its kind produced by the magazine.  I contributed six pieces altogether, illustrations that edge on fine art because of their simple and elegant compositions (thanks to Gail’s sharp eye).  I can’t elaborate on the content….only can say that it relates... Read The Rest →

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