For this week’s artist conversation, I had the pleasure of speaking with the very talented and insightful Maccabee Shelley. His show is exhibited in the Max L. Gatov Gallery West, and is called “Fragile Nature.”
Stepping into the gallery, I was automatically intrigued! Art pieces were made with different types of materials, like glass, plaster, and ceramics, which were fused together. These items had beautiful colors painted on them by acrylic paint, that I believe complemented the pieces nicely. Along with this fused glass, there were also random items in Maccabee’s artworks, which he found at thrift stores, garage sales, or dumpsters, like suitcases, books, or little figurines that would probably be found in my house. The suitcases usually held the artworks on top of it, while the smaller items were placed on his artworks. My favorite piece in the gallery was the one that contained drips of colored glass that dripped upwards, rather than the usual downwards.
The artist, Maccabee Shelley, who is on his fourth semester at CSULB, said that he didn’t necessarily have inspiration for his gallery, but admits that the head of the art department at CSULB, Tony Marsh, inspired him to become the successful artist he is today. Growing up in Los Angeles, as a child, Maccabee has always been interested in science. He also liked to take things apart. He later went to Humboldt State University, majoring in Environmental Science, but after continuously taking art classes each semester, gradually moved from his previous major to art. He earned his BA in studio art and minored in art history, and has been making ceramics for about nine years, while being a full time artist for about five years now. Maccabee admits that he overproduces his pieces, and lays them out strategically, especially since he said that he has lived his life like a chess game.
I really like Maccabee’s artwork and love the concept of how he would fuse and place items next to each other that did not necessarily fit together. The pieces introduce the viewers to open their minds into a different perspective, which not many people can do. I believe that people should always keep their minds open, because if too narrow, I do not think that they will experience life to its fullest.
Maccabee was very insightful and I hope to see more of his work in the future!
To see his current works, check out his website! http://www.maccabeeshelley.com/