With a tendency for mustachioed characters, third eyes, and psychedelic woodgrain, San Diego artist Mike Maxwell’s self-taught skills continue to intrigue. We recently caught up with Mike when he came down to paint at SILO for the first time.
Known primarily as a figurative artist, Maxwell actually prefers small canvases and panels to large murals. “Painting large scale is a real challenge. It’s mentally, physically, and economically exhausting. Thats not to say that it isn’t fun though, because it is a blast.” What’s the difference? “You have to compromise a lot when working on a large scale wall, and I don’t normally have to do that when working in the studio.”
Maxwell admits to an obsession with Freemasonry and it’s symbology which is where the third eye comes from in many of his works. “I have multiple reasons for why I use it, both aesthetically, and psychologically.” It’s not all about his perspective though, Maxwell explains that the meaning behind the work is “really up to the observer and how the objects are defined within their reality.” With abstraction currently piquing his interest, Maxwell has been deconstructing his figurative work into simple silhouetted abstract forms. “I’ve found a lot of joy in doing so,” says Mike.
Mike Maxwell has shown his artwork around the world. He starred in the documentary Working Class, with Mike Giant and has graced the pages of magazines like Juxtapoz and Time Magazine (when his portrait of President Obama was featured alongside the election in 2008.) When not painting, Maxwell has fun hosting The Live Free Podcast where he interviews and chats with some of the world’s best artists. There are 150 episodes available on itunes and thru mikemaxwellart.com as well as other podcast listening stations. Maxwell is also on the Blackhouse Team Nogueira Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with a Purple Belt.
Photos and article by Carly Ealey
Art independently curated by Chris Konecki. For more information on art in Makers Quarter™ contact: firstname.lastname@example.org