Dance for me is an important part of life. The language sound movement staging and design stimulates my thought process and informs my visual art in inexplicable ways. Dreamscapes the connection between the waking life and lucid dreaming are mirrored in dance, and vivified throughout this adventure. This evocation this tribal trance connects us to our ancestors.
For two weeks a wonderful group of 4 established Artist emerged onto the campus of Florida State University, in Tallahassee, Florida. It felt like a calling of sorts, like a divine collection of creative spirits were summed to exchange ideas not only between themselves but also, with every intricate experience and encounter along the way.
Electrogynous is the title of the trans-media dance performance orchestrated by Sabela Grimes. Well if you don’t know Sabela aka Oversoul 7, you should get to know his works, this dude is an established choreographer and composer as well as a Professor at USC Kaufman, teaching Hip Hop Dance. The first time I was introduced to his flow was through “pure movement” an outstanding performance produced by the renown Rene Harris dance company in Philadelphia PA. Sabela’s performance comprising of words and movement encapsulated everything I thought felt and experienced as a man, as an artist, it was personal. His work incited my spirit and enchanted the imagination I was like this brother is a problem his art speaks directly to the core.
Years later on the west coast we’d periodically run into each other and often talk about working together. February 2014 we crossed paths again at the Exact Science Art Gallery, in Los Angeles. My work was part of the group exhibition celebrating Black History Month. Upon my arrival one of the first cats I seen was Sabela, he was like yo Pose, what’s good? We chatted out front for a while then proceeded to go into the gallery. From the look in his eyes I could tell he was really digging the artwork. The place was packed and it was hard to have a conversation inside. Amidst the crowd we eventually stopped in front of one of my paintings. Sabela didn’t no it was my work. He leaned over and said, yo man this show is dope and I’m really feeling the artwork of this cat Maxx Moses. So I looked him in his face to see if he was joking. But no he was for real he wasn’t hip to the Mr. Maxx Moses persona, that I created in 2006.I laughed and responded come on man you know that’s me? Sabela was like dam I’ve been looking at these works all night thinking I’ve got to collaborate with this dude. I was like guess the time has finally come? We laughed shook hands and the process began.
He started sharing video clips of previous Electrogynous performances and talking about how he wanted to expand the vision further by incorporating video painting and poetry. Then he told me he was including Meena Murugesan and Ursula Rucker I was like oh shit this is project is going to be baddass!
The MANCC residency at Florida State University is designed to provide space and time for professional dancers to develop and expand their visions, so Sabela brought a crew. We all landed in Tallahassee, Florida around the 27th of July and none of us really had any idea how this was all going work out. Prior to the trip we brainstormed about painting live and how to incorporate it into the show. But the idea of stretching beyond the known territory of our crafts was what this calling was really about. Sabela’s wanted to use this opportunity to push his collaborators and himself beyond what we’ve already learned. So for me there was no paint only an Ipad and Apple pen and an app called procreate.
Deep inside the Black Box studio we sat divided, two Pisces’s on one side and two Virgos on the other. It was interesting listening to Sabela and Ursula speak about their rich creative history and fond memories of Philadelphia. While across the room Meena and I were learning how to successfully combine video and what I now call “light painting” into a story. Listening to Sabela’s sound tracks while video is being projected and digitally painted literally provided the backdrop for project.
Half way through our time a MANCC we all got on stage and sat inside the copper pyramid, which is part of the set. Here we talked about our progress and our developing creative process together. We all were being in challenged, Ursula to freestyle, Meena and Myself working with new technology and Sabela learning to work with us all.
We enjoyed conversations about what Black Joy looks like? Asking that question to people throughout the city and Capturing, their smiles on film. Watching Sabela’s body dance interpreting Electrogynous, which explores the notion of black male gender and questions what defines Black masculinity and the contradictions thereof? Creating imagery that visually expresses boundlessness within gender. Highlighted with the eloquent energy and magic spit that uttered from Ursula’s mouth at the end of every session made it all complete. Her poetry captured every morsel of exchange throughout the day and repurposed it with a new rhythm. My most memorable moment is when she said Pose create some Art that I can write to!
As she said this I projected what I was working on to the big screen. Instantly She began to write… “Make Me A Planet… My Own Mother Fucking Planet”…
Electrogynous will be performed in Los Angeles in November 2016. Theater will be announced soon. We are all super excited to bring this to the stage. And for the grand opportunity to be working along side such greatness. Tallahassee is Magical trust.
Two years ago I connected with the creators of Eskis-Company while painting at the Meeting of Styles in Milan Italy. Eskis-Company is a huge supporter the event mainly providing T-Shirts. When they asked me last year to submit some designs I really thought they were to be used as shirt designs… Instead they came up with something for the sole!…
I am one of about a dozen other international artist selected to be apart of there growing brand. So take some time and discover the website, then pick up some goodies along the way!
Much love and goodness!
The power of yoga
Yoga, meaning union is one of the most valuable things I’ve learned in this lifetime. I remember my very first class at Chula Vista Yoga, I lasted about 15 minutes then I sat on the sidelines tired and amazed looking at all these men and woman, older and younger pushing through that 1 ½ hour of class with strength grace and poise. This practice, of controlling your breath while pushing your body and mind through difficult poses reshaped me from INSIDE OUT.
So many good things sprouted from practicing at Chula Vista Yoga Center a healthy body and mind, good relationships and of course the opportunity to create art. In 2006 I met Kristyan, the owner and master teacher, he and I instantly developed a bond and appreciation for each other’s craft so we decided to exchange our gifts. I paint his studio and he teaches me yoga… there was no money involved.
Around 2012 some thirsty kids destroyed 4 murals in Chula Vista including mine. Every time I fixed it, it got destroyed again. So I let the ugliness live until 2013, when the new owners Maria and Joe, took over the studio and vowed to honor my lifetime yoga agreement. I wanted to maintain my side of the deal so we decided to create anew mural.
Chula Vista Yoga has a great reputation for its teachers and training program and a few years ago my good friend Eddie Bustamante completed his teacher-training certification. This year Eddie invested his enthusiasm skills and dedication of yoga into his own studio, Kula Yoga. The birth of his new studio is an extension of the love and support we’ve shared over the years for each other and the practice of yoga. Eddie stepped to me early in the developmental stages of his studio saying that he wanted me to create something special for his new space, a place that would attract the next generation of yogi’s. Thank you Eddie for the opportunity to create”ROCK STEADY” and for opening the doors to Kula Yoga…Namaste
“INSIDE OUT” is the latest eclectic exhibition of Mr. MAXX MOSES most recent work accompanied by a photographic retrospective of his murals from around the world juxtaposed on metal, tile and funky canvas giclees.
Opening day is on May 5th at 4pm at the McDonogh School, 8600 McDonogh Rd, Owingsmill, MD. The exhibition will remain on display until May 29th, 2016
This is a unique event. MAXX MOSES is a master Spray Can Artist and international muralist. This show will highlight his unique imagery from his long career of painting and will encapsulate an exciting look at many of the great work he has created throughout the world.
2016 marks 40 years of painting for MAXX and he has decided to present this show as a fun Pop up Shop which will, we have no doubt, push the boundaries of our media drenched brains through the doors of timeless imagination.
There is a great story behind Pose 2, aka MAXX MOSES. He is a true non-conformist, a student of metaphysics, a dreamer, and a man of many alter egos. He emerged from the era of painting his name on subway trains in NYC and carried that youthful exuberance into his education at SUNY Brockport College where he fused “subway art” with surrealism, creating his own form of artistic identities.
MAXX has been commissioned to create many large-scale spray-painted murals across the globe. Through these painting experiences he has forged deep connections with many communities. It is through these connections that he continues to examine the depth of his learning and the quality of his art.
In 2011, the US Embassy invited MAXX to collaborate with the National Gallery of Zimbabwe and eleven local artists to beautify the city of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe with five distinctive murals. His presence caused such media uproar that the local immigration sought to arrest the elusive artist…
His international travels have also taken him to Sao Paulo, Brazil where he was invited to the 3rd Bi-annual International Graffiti Fine Art Exhibition. Considered a VIP, the Brazilian consulate made special last minute arrangements to ensure MAXX MOSES was in attendance.
Other notable events include a month long residency at the “Art Hub” in Abu Dhabi which resulted in the creation of a 480 sqft. work called “Gold Digger” which is now on display at NYU in Abu Dhabi.
He has also worked with many innovative non-profits, such as “Cross Arts”, in Tripoli, Lebanon where he inspired the youth and shared the wealth of his experiences through mural workshops and live painting. In the U.S two major murals stand tall in Washington DC, “One-Sip” and “Love Boat” were created in collaboration with Words, Beats & Life; a non-profit organization where MAXX serves as a mentor for mural apprentices and as a powerful lecturer.
His last solo exhibition, ” Good Morning America” was a radical departure from his dreamlike landscapes. It was a very personal and vivid examination into how racism and false doctrine had affected his own mental well being. The most profound and disturbing work of the exhibition was a self portrait entitled “The Minstrel Cycle”. This highly acclaimed piece of art was also shown at the “Manifest Justice” exhibition in LA and is now part of the private collection of the National Endowment of the Arts.
Exciting activities happening alongside the “INSIDE OUT” exhibition include:
*A three- day mural collaboration between the students of McDonogh School and the artist.
*A pop up shop of take home goodies will also be in effect the duration of the exhibition
*Book signing and release of the long awaited coloring book “Empty Without You”…a joint venture between MAXX MOSES and Scribe Sayar. This book was birthed from a 2012 music video directed by MAXX and featuring rhyme spitting vocalist Scribe. Captivating as that sounds, the book is even more fascinating in person with an imaginative layout of iconic drawings coupled with the poetic lyrics of Scribe that on opposing pages appear to be having a conversation with each other. Signed copies will be available at the show.
In 2012 the legendary Philadelphia, Graffiti Writer and good friend of mine Razz 1, transitioned to the afterlife. Razz’s presence in Philadelphia was prolific and Gigantic his simple readable but stylish Tag could be found in nearly every neighborhood throughout Philly. From the 70’s throughout the 90’s his name shined. But writing wasn’t his only claim to fame. Razz aka Ahmed, was a father an entrepreneur and social activist. Right in the heart of Philadelphia on South Street he and his wife Nandi, Co-operated The Pearl Of Africa, where they sold all the greatest Afrocentric apparel and accessories. Equally important the Pearl Of Africa’s upstairs location was used for lectures where the most notable black scholars, metaphysicians and healers would come to enlighten and inspire the hearts and minds of Philadelphians. It was a ripe time in Philadelphia and Razz was a savvy businessman who seized the opportunity to provide for his family and feed his community seamlessly. His presence and store are greatly missed but his spirit and name, Lord Razz Law1, forever lives.
Earlier this Mat Mathai, of Chemspace contacted me. Mat is a great collector of my art and many other Writers artworks throughout the country, including Razz, us three have been friends for years. He said pose it been a long times since I’ve purchased one of your paintings and a lot has changed, like your new identity to Maxx Moses, and the transition of our dear friend. I mentioned to him Leon Rainbow and myself had just done a rest in peace for the lord Razz in South Philly only weeks ago in my old neighborhood and how his presence was fresh in my mind. Mat said Pose I like the direction your Art is moving in and I want to commission a new painting that reflects the energy of Pose 2 and the magic of Maxx Moses. However in the mist of this creation think of our dear friend Razz let his eternal presence shine through this painting brilliantly.
While creating this piece I was wondering how and where to place Razz’s name within the painting and just couldn’t figure it out, so I just kept painting and as I was three quarters of the way complete with the painting I reached back to look at all the emails Mat and I exchanged. I found an image of one of Razz’s paintings Mat sent to me and decided to make mini versions of the painting. I printed and pasted them all along the sides of the entire canvas. Yeah this felt right Razz was not just about how good his name looked but how often you seen it!
When I daze upon this painting I see the Lord Razz resting in his sarcophagus being charioted away into the afterlife by the letters, by style and by royalty, his friends and family. Therefore I title this piece “The procession of Lord Razz.” Long live the King… your essence is eternal your name indelible, your legacy lives…
CONTENT UNDER PRESSURE
Last week I was invited to paint at Content Under Pressure, an Urban Art Festival in San Antonio TX. The new owner of The Paint Yard, my good friend Beatriz Rodriquez, hosted the event. This year she took the liberty to expand the event into an urban art festival. Still using spray painting as the driving force of the event but also inviting many local artist who use paintbrushes as well.
Personally it was a treat to collaborate with some really cool artist, Sano, originally from Cleveland Ohio and Real 3 from Monterrey Mexico. Those of you who know Sano recognize this Great Spirit, his creative flexibility and good nature as a warm welcome. His wife, B-girl Emiko has always wanted us to collaborate and finally it happened.
Real3 from Mexico had arrived before us and began painting his famous blue characters. He showed me his sketch and explained how he was going to use the word border very bold next to the character. Excellent I knew somehow what I planned on painting (my wonder bread concept) would fuse together nicely with his concept.
Overall the event was a huge success I got to spend time with my long time Urban Warriors crew mate Wizart, B-girl, Star Veronica and the deeply talented emcee Seven Seven Seven what a spectacular weekend.
Last year I competed and won the design award for the Pool Mural installation within the new Roosevelt HS In Washington DC. All participates were asked to create and submit a scaled down version of 120ft. by 10ft. painting that would then be photographed and turned into mosaic tiles.
Immediately I began to think about my art, water and the mosaic tiles. A few months earlier I’d just completed a bunch of” Urban Surrealism” murals packed with color imagery and characters. So for this project I wanted to move as far away form that approach as possible. I asked myself two questions. First what type of imagery would translate successfully onto tiles? And secondly what type of energy do I want to transmit visually?
Personally I’ve always loved swimming and water and while thinking about this project I began to visualize myself sitting at the pool area listening to the sounds of splashing water and people cheering. The endless motion of the water and the sound of people in the water is what I realized I needed to capture within this painting “kinetic Swim”. I was determined to keep a minimal color selection but with strong contrasts.
The coolest thing about this project was the selection process. I had to fly down to DC and present the painting. Upon arrival there we are a bunch of artist all sitting and waiting for their opportunity to present. I was totally surprised however when I walked into the room and there where a bunch of teenagers sitting there. I was like really you students are the panel? My whole vibe changed… I was like YO, lets do this! One of the few adults in the room was like yes Maxx the students are going to select which painting they want for their school. I was like cool so we don’t have to waste any time with formalities, because these young people are going to know exactly what they want… and they appreciated this reply.
Relaxed and happy, I began to introduce myself while images from my past works flashed upon the digital screen. I scanned the room constantly to gain a sense of what these teenagers were thinking and feeling, and then I asked that the projector be turned off.
It was time to unveil my painting “kinetic Swim along with my vision and thoughts about the project and how I wanted to convey the essence of energy over imagery. Instantly questions emerged that lead to really good conversations. These young students and I were so in tune with each other and to what was being presented I didn’t have to convince them of why they should chose “kinetic Swim” … they were already in the water!
Upon leaving I shared with the students how glad I was to be in their presence and how most of the time this process is usually a situation for “adults only”. I remember how high I was leaving that room and perhaps knowing in my spirit the project was mine!
last weekend I had the pleasure of working on the @Smartcartourusa, which stopped in downtown San Diego. Loads of people were on site enjoying the music, craft beer and of course the art work.
I (maxxmoses) was invited to participate and paint live digitally on an infrared system of light and digital spray paint. The cool part was that while I was painting onto the screen the art was being projected onto an even larger screen in the middle of the event at . It was cool hearing the crowd response as I was painting. It was truly a blast even my 4 year old son got to paint!
Last weekend I travelled back to Houston Texas, for the HUE Mural Festival and this time I brought my family along. We all had a great time Houston is a warm city with loads of southern hospitality. I really have to acknowledge Gonzo and his family for all of their hard work in making this event a huge success. A special thanks goes out to my dude Deck, Flip and Kween for their added love and support. Dam I can’t forget Pilot, who got me my paint! All in all Texas is becoming another one of my hubs for painting, family and pure goodness
For this outing I wanted to do some “Pop Art”. So I reached back to my childhood and remember Wonder Bread. I always liked the packaging, primary colors and design. I began just drawing as usual and a face began to emerge then the lettering, WONDER. I knew I would use all the red yellow and blue bubbles around the image but still didn’t know how I would tie it all together to be a cohesive mural. During the sketching process I was having a conversation with a fellow artist and money kept surfacing as the most important thing. It irritated me that we as artist have become so engrossed about money. Don’t get it twisted I enjoy painting and earing a living for what I do but dam I never want to forget the reason I became an artist in the first place… thus the inspiration for the caption…
THEY WONDER HOW MUCH BREAD THEY CAN MAKE…
I WONDER IF I CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
In 2012 with the help of Words Beats & Life I had the opportunity to create 2 murals for the Angelika Film Center in Fairfax Va. On this project I flexed two of my favorite styles, “Alphabet Soup” and “Symetrix” “Alphabet Soup” is all about Graffiti letters randomly distributed with colorful design to bring balance. The first mural downstairs around the elevator is where is used this style to say the word Angelika. Using this style the viewer is always intrigued with the challenge of finding all the letters in the word and I have a blast creating new ways to shape and bounce the letters into form.
“Symetrix” is the style born from observing and painting Butterflies. Since moving to California nearly a decade ago I’ve been surrounded by these beautiful creatures and thus influenced by their grace balance and design. Upstairs in the lounge area I’ve infused the design of a butterfly with human form and surrealism, which has become iconic Maxx Moses imagery
This year Angelika has opened a new theater in Carmel Mountain, San Diego and they asked me to return to paint two murals once again. The first wall is upstairs in the lounge area and spans 70ft across 9ft high and is simply titled The Magic Projection. The inspiration for this wall is based upon the idea of movie making, perception, nature and my 4, year old son who while painting at home kept repeating the word Magic over and over again! I thought to myself yes painting is magic and movies are moving paintings. The Magic Projection also incorporates the alphabet soup style, keeping it consistent throughout the theaters.
Downstairs, the Angelika staff simply wanted me to create some art that could be used as a guide to lead people upstairs to the lounge. So I used another one of my styles titled “Energenics”. This style is all about dynamic energy, harmonizing colors and movement. The painting contains 3-D shapes, Graffiti Arrows and is filled with freedom and allowance, all the elements that the Angelika staff promotes and encourages. It’s been so good working with this organization and watching movies lol, you guys are the best.