David N. DeMattia’s artistic style reflects the influence of his childhood in Southern California, where he enjoyed easy access to Disneyland. He spent as much of his time at the park as possible and the rest of it in his mother’s garage, learning the secrets of animating creatures, like the ones those now famous Disney “Imagineers” had done. By age twelve, David had brought animatronic creatures to life and his fertile imagination continues to spawn strange and wonderful animals that reveal themselves to us through his sculpture.
In 1979, David entered Wichita State University, majoring in Theater. After a move to Texas, he enrolled in the University of North Texas and changed his major to engineering (with a minor in Radio, Television and Film). Upon graduation, David took a position in Saint Paul, Minnesota as an Industrial Engineer with a major corporation. His engineering degree has given him access to the latest robotic technology and has advanced his career as a special effects artist in live theater, where he creates props that come to life on stage, competing with the actors themselves.
Throughout the years, David has remained active in theater, applying his vision to create special effects, lighting and sound for live productions. He has worked in several large venues, including the Dallas Children’s Theatre, where he created animatronic prop animals as well as designed special lighting and sound effects. He has also worked with the St. Croix Festival Theatre where he brought to life Audrey II, the man-eating plant in “Little Shop of Horrors.” David built four versions of Audrey II to reflect the plant character’s growth as the play’s story line progresses.
In 2001, David resigned from his corporate engineering position at Fortune 500 Company Ecolab, although he still works as a consultant in PLC/Computer based industrial controls. These days he prefers to focus on his sculpture & animatronics, making the unique creatures that live in his imagination available to us all.
David’s creations continue to evolve and take new forms, as if these fantastic animals refuse to be limited by narrow definitions. David combines his highly individual artistic vision and his cutting edge knowledge of engineering technology with his first love, sculpture, to create one of a kind art pieces in his lair at Sleeping Dragon Studios, which derives its name from David’s first dragon, sculpted back in 1984. This “Sleeping Dragon” is a droopy-eyed, winged fellow, who has become the grandfather of all David’s dragons and other strange stuff.
Selected News Coverage
- Moose Sculpture Unveiling – Inter County Leader, 2011
An article in a local paper about the project completed for local coffee shop!
- The bird is the word – Sculptor/engineer David DeMattia to debut robot sculpture – Osceola Sun, March 11, 2008
Local paper article about Robobird II and the Peeps project.
- Puppet Plant Will Star in Festival’s First Ever Musical – Inter-County Leader, April 2004
Local paper review of me and the Little Shop of Horrors man-eating plant