How a Shark Bite and Bob Ross Led Matt Beyrer to Fine Art

Matt Beyrer in his studio

Artist Matt Beyrer has proven to be popular with collectors, selling out 11 of his 11 Park West Gallery VIP auctions since his debut. So what is the origin of his desirable Natural Expressionism art?

Aside from Beyrer’s talent, it involves three things: a shark, a popular TV show, and impromptu wood stain.

“Sunset Reflection” (2017), Matt Beyrer

While living on Florida’s east coast, Beyrer took up surfing as a hobby. One day, while in eighth grade, Beyrer and one of his friends hit the beach. As he was surfing in the open water, Beyrer was knocked off his board and felt a sharp pain on his foot. He was rushed to the hospital where he learned an 8-foot hammerhead shark had bit him.

The wound required multiple stitches and required eight weeks of recovery. To pass the time, Beyrer began watching “The Joy of Painting” starring Bob Ross. The TV show taught its audience how to create a landscape painting, with Ross completing a painting in each half-hour episode.

Through the Rain” (2017), Matt Beyrer

Beyrer became intrigued by the painting process and decided he would learn the craft. Fast forward a few years and Beyrer graduated from the Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in illustration.

Initially, the art world recognized Beyrer for his unique and gripping fantasy scenes, but the artist resolved to expand his abilities. One day, while building a frame, Beyrer used up all of his wood stain. Instead of running out for more, he decided to mix his own by thinning some oil paints.

“A light bulb went off,” Beyrer says. “I realized I should incorporate the natural wood grain into the painting itself rather than painting over the wood grain.”

Remember the Time” (2017), Matt Beyrer

Through continued experimentation, Beyrer honed his Natural Expressionism style into what collectors know and love today. He continues to experiment to this day, painting on different, exotic wood types and creating limited-edition caldographs with Park West Gallery.

“It’s important to me the grain be a part of the painting because it is what inspires me,” Beyrer says.

For information on how to collect the art of Matt Beyrer, contact our gallery consultants at (800) 521-9654 ext. 4 or

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