John Basilone
Above: Actor Jon Seda (as John Basilone) with
Chuck Tatum during filming of The Pacific.
Above: Chuck Tatum with admirers
at the LA premiere of The Pacific.

All prints are sold unframed
Screen colors may vary from print colors

Print Size: 16" x 20"
fits a ready made frame
by Matt Hall
Print 3 in our Portraits of Valor series!
As Chuck Tatum, an 18-year-old in B-Co., 27th Marines, 5th Div., clung to Iwo Jima’s beach, he was shocked at the sight of a lone Marine, standing tall in the face of enemy fire. That Marine was Gunny John Basilone. Having trained under Basilone, Tatum knew this was a man to follow. Advancing to the island’s first airfield together, Tatum and Basilone would encounter and neutralize a heavily-fortified enemy blockhouse, an action that would earn Basilone the Navy Cross, and Tatum, his stripes as a combat Marine.
John Basilone on Iwo Jima

950 limited edition prints worldwide, each hand
autographed by Chuck Tatum
& artist Matt Hall.

Prints are sold unframed
Click play on the video below to watch a short clip about signer Chuck Tatum featuring Tom Hanks & Steven Spielberg!

Now acknowledged as the rising talent in military art, Matt Hall worked for years under master visionary, Steven Spielberg, at Spielberg’s DreamWorks company! These days, however, Matt no longer paints to serve the icons of Hollywood—he paints to pay tribute to America’s military heroes.

Matt’s artistic training began as a boy in Missouri, when he met an old-time western artist named Bob Tommy, who just moved from Texas. Tommy encouraged Matt to try his hand at painting. When Tommy saw Matt’s “natural talent,” he became Matt’s mentor and taught him the technique he had amassed in his lifetime of work.

In college, Matt studied painting. After graduation, he broadened his skills, painting everything from greeting cards to animation backgrounds. His career changed forever when Spielberg’s DreamWorks company found and hired him. Matt brought and his new bride, Michele, a Texas small-town girl, with him to Hollywood.

At DreamWorks, Matt rose through the ranks, painting concept art. When Steven Spielberg had an idea brewing about the Battle for Iwo Jima, Matt painted an “epic concept” for him that Spielberg used to pitch the film, Flags of Our Fathers. Soon, Matt was named Franchise Art Director for DreamWorks’ Medal of Honor video games series, one credited with generating interest in WWII history among young people.

Matt grew as an artist through Spielberg’s critiques. “I learned from Steven Spielberg the value of listening to my ‘creative instincts’” Matt explained. “A lot of times, marketing dictates if an idea will be well-received, but Spielberg would often fly against the grain, if he believed in an idea. There was a time when the marketing guys said ‘WWII is done and dead,” but Spielberg followed his instincts and passion and made Saving Private Ryan!”

There, Matt discovered that he, too, possessed a passion to tell the stories of America’s war heroes when DreamWorks had him create paintings for the

Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Working from just a citation and a portrait of a long-deceased MOH recipient, Matt brought their stories back to life. There, he discovered his calling.

Then, in summer 2008, Matt underwent brain surgery to remove a growth behind his eye. “It was a wake-up call,” Matt explained. “It got me thinking, ‘What kind of legacy will my art leave? Will it tell a story of something important? Will it be something people will appreciate 50 or 100 years from now? It was tough to look in mirror and say ‘maybe not’ since the art I was doing would be locked away in a vault once it served its purpose."

After Matt’s surgery, Valor Studios, a prominent publisher of military art came to Matt with an offer to publish him. Valor Studios had seen Matt’s work for DreamWorks and asked if he wanted to paint full time to honor the heroes of military past and present? Matt heartily agreed. “It was an epiphany on a lot of levels,“ he explained, “Spiritually, artistically, and career-wise. Like that leap of faith when I went to paint for Hollywood, I’ve now decided to follow my passion and paint the stories of men and women whose legacies need to be preserved.”