Charles Porter Mattox was born in Bronson, Kansas in 1910. From 1934 to 1935 he studied art at the Kansas City Art Institute with Arshile Gorky. During the 1930s, Mattox worked on a federal art project with Dave Smith and others. He supported himself working as a molder and a tool and instrument designer in many parts of the United States. Mattox also worked in special effects and set design in Hollywood from 1942 to 1950. He eventually devoted his time to teaching and sculpting.
Mattox taught at several institutions around the United States, including the Karn Art Institute in Los Angeles, the University of California at Berkeley, the San Francisco Art Institute and the University of New Mexico. In addition to pioneering the development of kinetic sculpture, he also took an interest in the application of computer graphics to art.
During the 1980s, Mattox produced one three-color lithograph (“Prelude to a Black Hole”1988) and one six-color lithograph (“Untitled”1987) at the Tamarind Institute in New Mexico.