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SF Illustrator John Mattos Makes a Name with Bold, Retro-Style Art

Image by John Mattos

When artist Victor Stabin commissioned seasoned illustrator John Mattos to create a poster for the 2007 Presidio Grand Prix, Mattos thought his client was joking. “There was actually a proposal for this event back in the 1950s,” says Mattos. The commission spurred the idea for a series of tongue-in-cheek illustrations, which were on view at Piccolo Press last month. “If left to my own devices, I lean toward injecting humor in my work,” says the North Beach resident, who also counts more serious projects among his boldly colored, retro-style repertoire. In June, he released both a new book of Golden Gate Bridge drawings and bicycle-themed stamps for the U.S. Postal Service. His work has also graced the pages of Newsweek, Forbes, Fortune, and Time.

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