This week I had the pleasure of meeting a unique artist named Maccabee Shelley, who presented his work in the Maxine L. Gatov Gallery at California State University, Long Beach. He is was originally born and raised in LA, then moved to San Fransisco because he hated the traffic, and eventually moved back down here for art. He is on his 4th semester, and already presented 3 shows at different galleries. While walking into the gallery, I noticed his art work was a little different then anyone that I have seen before. I thought is work was so interesting, not only from looking at his gallery, but because he presented his story and art in class that previous Tuesday and I was curious to see what he was all about.
Maccabee became interested in art when he got into college. Ever since he was little boy, he was always interested in science and saw himself working in the medical field. So when he attended Humboldt State, he was completely set on pursuing something in the science field, but one day he realized something that changed his life. He noticed that every semester he took an art class and got an A, and every other class he had wasn’t so good. So, he decided to look more into art and he eventually changed his major and graduated with his BA studio and minored in at Art history. Ever since then, he hasn’t stopped working on his art, and in 2016 will be about six years of being an artists.
He loves all kinds of art, but his favorite is ceramics. He has been interested in ceramics ever since he took it about eight to nine years ago. He feels as ceramics is a way for a person to express themselves in their own way. For his work, he uses ceramic, plaster, glass, and random objects he finds laying around. Before starting his work, he overproduces his ideas, then edits them. Maccabee states that looking for objects is basically a game. Once he finds something, he will automatically grab it to see what he can do with it. He is drawn to scientific objects and usually dumpster dives to see what he can find. When asking him what his favorite piece was, he stated that he loves all of them and believes each one has something to say.
After asking what inspires him, he says that once he creates something new, he gets excited and starts to add more things to it. He refers to it as a snowball affect. The person who inspired him was Tony Marsh, who is the head of the art department, because he helps Maccabee grow, and shows him how to approach things. When asking Maccabee what his goal in life is, he says that he does not have an ultimate goal. He believes once you set a goal to something and finish it, there isn’t anything else to look forward to. His work was really amazing and I like how he presents his art. http://maccabeeshelley.com