We want to introduce you to Matthew de la Tour, a 33-year-old man who has overcome many obstacles in his life. Non verbal as a child with many social anxieties, Matthew is now considered high functioning. Determined to thrive and grow, Matthew spends his time creating his own, special artwork to express himself.
Growing up as a child on the other side of the tracks created many problems — the massive sounds of machinery balanced with a household of hostility. When you have problems, you engage in thinking where imagination is one with memory. I used to rock back and forth as a child, and still do to this day — that is who I am. It is how I dealt with everything from unnatural light and any other adversity, like being the new kid in a new school — a stranger in a strange land.
Adversity is a vital element of human progress. Resistance and conflict are part of evolution. I have been diagnosed with many human labels, autism spectrum disorder, schizotypal personality disorder — the system says I’m high functioning, but they don’t know what I have overcome. Labels put you into a box — that does not help anyone. I only want to help others with my one voice.
As a child, I did not have a voice, I couldn’t make eye contact — I had emotional, physical abuse and was raped before I was even in grade school. I have been to many dark places, but I still have a light inside me. Now, as an adult in my 33rd year of life, I believe art should give us an idea of our relationship with planet earth and each other — where we rejoice in all abilities. My weakness is now my strength. Determination has allowed me to overcome this world.
A spark of determination can ignite and grow into a flame of passion. Let your fire burn. Fire is universal. Fire stirs the essence of human artistry — it is the spark of the will to create. Fire creates light and is not appreciated in our modern society. Most humans have lost interaction with real fire. The once-universal experience of a blazing fire is absent from their lives. Burn with passion — one day your earth walk will end. Let your light shine!
I call this the de La TouR Technique. The R is capitalized on purpose. I use molten glue and paint together and dry wall mud with paint or nail polish or all of these mediums together. I discovered the incredible detail you can achieve when painting dry-molten glue. I began almost a decade ago. I experimented on 30 cans devising 30 different techniques of application. I have pioneered drawing with a glue gun on numerous surfaces, making the glue art itself and inventing dozens of new techniques that have inspired others. You can finger paint with the mud, also called joint compound, by smearing it on canvas. Play — have fun with friends and family, let dry, and paint. I want to inspire others to believe in themselves and devise new ideas of their own to share and start a new art revolution and bring families together. Nothing’s impossible. Molten glue is like clay and can become anything from a thick wood pattern to a meticulous, thin, delicate spider web. Drawing with the glue gun on a canvas is similar to using a pencil or detailing a cake. You must learn how much pressure to apply and know how much glue you need for a specific result. Maybe rebind and give an old book a new cover — molten glue is joyful!
Start drawing simple shapes like circles, triangles, and squares to get a feel of how the molten glue moves when you pull the glue gun trigger — remember, molten
glue will be very hot. Allow the glue to cool to your surface — then, using a paint of your choice, lightly cover the glue on the surface. Most paint dries in minutes. The paint brings out the amazing detail of the dry glue on your surface. There are many techniques and forms of application to discover when working with molten glue. For example, after painting over the glue on a canvas wait until the paint is dry, pull the glue pieces gently off the canvas and allow your creation to come forth. You will see the brilliant white of the canvas show through. You can repeat the process or add more paint and glue. You can gradually start making fun designs or even use the glue pieces as a complex stencil for creating even more fantastic art! Just imagine!
Matthew de la Tour has overcome so much, he studies everything. He knows the Bible better than anyone. His wisdom comes from pain and seeking truth. He now is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge, even though he sometimes wishes he was never born. He is a blazing fire in this world of darkness. He doesn’t necessarily love art; he is using it as a vehicle for HaSHem. The current art world has nothing new to offer anyone and he wants to change that.
This article was featured in Issue 48 – Connecting and Communicating with Autism