MATTE Black Arts: Sound, style and expert curation

Known for executing some of the most disruptive activations within their space, NYC-based creative agency MATTE has garnered a large, cult following on their home turf, bringing brands to life through heavily-curated content and experiences.

It’s the production and events arm of the agency for which MATTE has become well known. Events such as ‘Full Moon’, ‘Kitsuné Club Nights’ and MATTE’s ‘Black’ events have become New York City nightlife staples.

This weekend, the annual MATTE Black Arts party is taking place – although, to simply call it a party doesn’t give this event the weight it deserves.


MATTE will host a fully immersive experience this weekend, blending music and the contemporary arts – something that will defy categorisation into a single, artistic medium. The focus is visual arts, concepted by both underground and established creatives, along with big sounds and even bigger sound systems.

Whilst difficult to pigeonhole into a category, Black Arts is heavily curated and given what can only be described as an absolute aesthetic – something that’s meticulously executed through the ‘MATTE lens’.


Based in New York’s TriBeCa, MATTE have fostered a brand philosophy to produce authentic, considered content, and have been working with a host of international brands, from Tom Ford and Fendi, to Samsung and Google.

We caught up with two of the three founders, Max Pollack and Brett Kincaid, who stressed that selecting the ‘appropriate players’ for each project was crucial to its success – helping to achieve that expertly curated aesthetic.

Black Arts certainly feels set apart from other nightlife-oriented events. Firstly, due to its eclectic mix of genres and, secondly, in its overall message and ethos. “Partying & socialising has always been the catalyst that develops culture – it’s about connectivity, minus our inherent inhibitions,” say Pollack and Kincaid.

MATTE Black Arts was activated in Mexico City last year, and the agency already have plans to bring the experience to other cities – for them, Berlin is next on the list.

For the time being, MATTE’s founders believe the key to continued success is growing slowly and organically, whilst staying true to the underground culture that helped to birth the events in the first place.


Liked this? Read our Brand Activation Trends: Luxury report over on WGSN.

Alternatively, check out Art & Retail: Refining the Experience Economy.

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