John Mattos Named 2013 Breeders’ Cup Official Artist

by | 09.04.2013 | 6:44pm
Vintage-inspired art deco image by John Mattos commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Breeders' Cup

The Breeders' Cup today announced that multi-award winning illustrator John Mattos has been named the official artist for the 2013 Breeders' Cup World Championships. The Mattos collection features two brilliant art deco images celebrating the 30th running of the event at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., on Nov. 1, 2.

The Breeders' Cup is Thoroughbred racing's most prestigious international event, consisting of 14 races and purses and awards totaling $27 million. It is  also an annual gathering of stars from the worlds of Hollywood entertainment, business, sports and celebrities from all walks of life, conducted at one of the world's most picturesque horse racing venues. The Breeders' Cup, will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group, with the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic shown live and in primetime on NBC.

Mattos' vintage-inspired official primary image features an elegant and timeless couple taking in a day of premier international racing. Palm trees and the San Gabriel Mountains frame the action of the world's finest Thoroughbreds as they race toward a moment in Breeders' Cup history. One of Santa Anita's famous architectural frieze elements graces the border as another nod to the historic California track.

“John's magnificent work captures the elegance and style of the Breeders' Cup while seamlessly integrating Santa Anita Park's iconic imagery,” said Peter Rotondo, Breeders' Cup Vice President of Media and Entertainment. “We are honored and delighted to display his images as part of our official 30th Running celebration as well as to provide fans an opportunity to take home some treasured memories of the event.”

A second image aptly titled “Distaff Diva,” lets the spirit of Breeders' Cup Friday out to play.  The Diva's whimsical fascinator serves as a symbol of the more playful side of Breeders' Cup World Championships. Santa Anita's Deco style frieze swirls around her head while palm trees sway and the iconic Breeders' Cup trophy is the biggest feather in her cap. The $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff is the most prominent race on Friday program.

"Distaff Divas," by Breeders' Cup 2013 official artist John Mattos

“Distaff Divas,” by Breeders' Cup 2013 official artist John Mattos

“I have been drawing and painting horses my entire life and so it was a real joy to capture the impression and the excitement surrounding such an outstanding international event as the Breeders' Cup,” said Mattos.”

Mattos is a multi-award winning illustrator with over one hundred honors for graphic excellence.  He has been awarded a Gold Medal from the New York Society of Illustrators, and a Gold from the New York Art Director's Club, as well as a Silver from the Los Angeles Society of Illustrators. Mattos has created imagery for some of the top companies in the U.S., including Apple, Time Warner, Microsoft, Citibank, American Airlines, Oracle and hundreds more. Publishing houses involve both American and international imprints of Time, Newsweek, Forbes, Town and Country and many more.

Mr. Mattos' influences include a number of pre-WWII poster artists, in particular the work of J.C. Leyendecker, one of America's most popular commercial artists of the early Twentieth Century. Mattos' 1930's era style led to a 2007 commission from the United States Postal Service to create a commemorative stamp featuring Seabiscuit, the celebrated racehorse who gave inspiration and hope during the Great Depression.

Mattos has numerous ties to the Los Angeles area. He graduated from internationally acclaimed Art Center College Of Design in Pasadena, and he has lectured at UC Berkeley, Stanford, and C.C.A.C, among others. Another connection is his list of credentials for various film properties including Disney, MGM/UA and Coppola/American Zoetrope.  The American Film Institute named his artwork for The Rocketeer in their 100 Best Movie Posters of all Time.

  • Tinky

    Mattos is the choice of the Breeders’ Cup? Presumably he lives in Los Angeles.

  • Nucky Thompson

    What the press release should have said was “Mattos’ 1930’s era style makes the Breeders Cup Committee feel right at home”. Maybe they can persuade NBC to show the races in black and white to enhance the ambience.

    • Garbo

      Great idea. Love that vibe.

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