Rip Matteson was born in Oakland, California in 1920. He studied art at San Jose State, California College of Arts and Crafts, University of California, Berkeley, Parsons School of Design and at the Scuola di Belle Arte, Rome. He received his Master of Fine Arts and Doctorate in Education degrees from the University of California Berkeley.
During his life long career as an artist, Rip was awarded numerous awards for his artistic endeavors including the James D. Phelan Award for Achievement in Art and an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Blackburn College for his contribution to the foundation of its art department.
Women have been a favorite subject for artists throughout the ages. To create a fresh approach in a subject so universally depicted is the challenge of any artist. It is not surprising that Rip’s major influences were Amedeo Modigliani, Egon Schiele, Henri Matisse, Paul Cezanne and Gustav Klimt. Much like these great masters, Rip was not particularly concerned nor interested in recreating a resemblance, but rather he used his model as a vehicle to express his excitement for line, form, color and expression. His portraits and single figure paintings never failed to capture the spirit and personality of his subject.
In addition to painting, Rip was a renowned cartoonist, published regularly in Playboy and The New Yorker magazines.
His work is in the permanent collections at Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Bowles Hall, U.C. Berkeley, Monterey Peninsula College, Monterey, CA, Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CA, California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA and Blackburn College, Carlinville, IL.