Michael Maxwell is a contemporary inter-media artist investigating a balance between primitive abstraction and digital technology. His work explores the tactility and energy of paint and natural materials in relation to the visual possibilities available through digital imaging and photography.
Materials holding meaning and a physical presence of their own such as clay, quartz crystal, silver, gold, bee’s wax, obsidian and natural pigments contrast with the virtual space and saturated color of digital imagery.
Compositional forms and patterns are rooted in the visual vocabulary of subjective brain states related to research in neuroscience and Michael’s personal exploration of hypnosis and meditation. As layers of pattern combine into higher order forms and images develop intuitively over time, content is sometimes revealed while at other times pieces remain purely abstract.
The work is influenced by and refers to the tradition of modernist inquiries into the unconscious and abstraction in painting as well as to visual works from non-western and indigenous traditions.
Michael graduated with a BFA in art history from the University of Oklahoma and an MFA in studio art from Rutgers University. Early works in video and performance art laid the conceptual foundations for his current explorations in painting.
He maintains an active studio practice in Brooklyn, New York.