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Etching A Unique Path

Etching A Unique PathArmed with a vintage toy and an artist's touch, a Tufts grad is etching his path through the art world. New York.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [07.26.01] Matt Carson's sketches cover everything from still lifes and self-portraits to detailed drawings of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Chrysler Building. His subjects may be familiar but Carson's technique is anything but typical. The Tufts grad never uses pens, paints, brushes or even a canvas -- every sketch is painstakingly created with a vintage Etch A Sketch .

And they are attracting a lot of attention.

"I keep a couple of Etch A Sketches on my desk," Carson told the New York Post. "And when people see them, they usually turn around and say 'Did you do this?' And they just kind of look at it, wide-eyed."

But Carson is still fairly new to the toy.

He told the Post that he never played with them as a kid and first picked one up just four years ago.

"He happened upon his first Etch A Sketch at a friend's apartment in Boston -- and hasn't stopped twirling those knobs since," reported the Post.

Each creation can take the Tufts grad up to three hours to create, reported the newspaper.

"It works best just to kind of work slowly," he said in the Post's article. "I usually work from photographs or something sitting in front of me."

Of course, there is little room for error with an Etch A Sketch.

According to the Post, Carson will only start over if he makes a mistake very early in a project. "If I'm 20 minutes or a half hour into it, I'll do my best to cover over any mistakes I've made," Carson said.

This week, the Bar Reis in New York City will play host to Carson's first official show. The plastic toys featuring his work line the walls and they're expected to sell for at least $150 each.

Much like his art, Carson's pre-show worries are unique.

Says Carson's girlfriend and "unofficial" agent, "I hope people don't get drunk and shake them up."

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