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MATTA NAPKIN: A Daily Comic...on a Napkin

Last Thursday night, excited & just this side of drunk, Tim & I purchased this original piece of art at an exhibit here in LA. 

This funny drawing (a hilarious drawing, if you ask me!), is on a napkin. Can you tell from the photo it’s a napkin? It’s not even any type of special napkin – it’s just an ordinary 5 x 6 inch napkin. But the artwork itself, the artist who drew it and the story behind it are the complete opposite of ordinary. 

Its creator is an artist named John Matta – this series is called “MATTA NAPKIN”. I believe the series contains over 1,000 unique drawings. Last Thursday we got to see several dozens of them – the cream of the crop – on display at the MATTA NAPKIN Exhibit taking place right now through Wednesday, May 17

Hamilton-Selway Gallery 

8678 Melrose Ave 


(directly across the street from the Pacific Design Center)

Have you heard of John Matta before? Maybe. Or maybe you've unknowingly appreciated some of his other artwork. John has written for some of the funniest television shows in recent times – which makes perfect sense. Because when you meet him, nearly every sentence he utters is clever and/or hilarious. I don't know how he does it. The other bit which may interest you, especially if you’re a Gilmore Girls fan, is that his wife is Rose Abdoo, who plays Gypsy (and Berta!). She’s also played scene-stealing characters on Bunheads and Parenthood...the Gilmore fan trifecta.  

I was going to tell you the story of how John got started creating these napkins – and how Rose played a part in it – but John tells it so much better. So, here is the story of how it all began, in John’s own words (and handwriting), taken from the book “Matta Napkin: A Daily Comic..on a Napkin…in a Book”, which you can purchase from Amazon here: Buy John's Book 


Whenever I think of “art exhibit opening parties”, I tend to get a knot in my stomach – picturing the haughtiness, the awkward small talk, the “am I wearing the proper clothing” anxiety – all of that. Especially when it takes place in a gallery on the cusp of Beverly Hills, amid pieces by Warhol & Basquiat. Oy! But any reservations I had about the evening were complete make-believe – all in my head. Everyone at the event – from John’s friends, his brother, Gilmore Girls cast members, Rose, Rose’s friends, to John, himself – everyone was warm, genuine, funny and engaging.  (I include the gallery’s team in that description, too!) Jennie Whitaker – the curator of the Gilmore Girls Fan Fest even traveled the entire width of the US on a whirlwind 36-hour trip to attend. 

The best part of the night, of course, was reading John’s cartoons. His humor is at times shockingly dark, other times whimsical...always funny. 

Here are a few photos from the event: 

If you’re into collecting art, or into supporting artists, or just want the glory of saying “I knew John when…”, then I encourage you (if you're in the LA area) to drop by the exhibit this week and familiarize yourself with this artwork. Even buy a piece or two!  Then send me photos of the ones you chose (just please don't choose the bunny one, or the UPS one, or the wizard/unicorn one – I’m saving up for those!).

Seriously – check it out & send me photos of your purchase(s). I cannot wait to see which ones you choose!

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