Michael Massenburg [mikemass]
What do you do? How do you define yourself as an artist?
Visual artist working in mixed medium of drawing, painting and collage. I define myself as a artist as creative being.
What is your message?
that everyone have the capacity to create. that art is about the human experience.
Your biography in four lines.
Visual Artist, was born in San Diego, California and studied at the California State University, Long Beach and the Otis Art Institute. He has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the country, completed several private commissions, and worked on public art projects throughout Los Angeles.
Do you upload your work to the web? If so, where could we see it?
website, Artslant, BAIA, Art Review, Talenthouse, Blue Canvas and others sites.
How is an idea born? For you, what is inspiration?
Ideas are born out of history, current events and people around me for my inspiration
What role does technology play in your creative process?
Technology has been faster and less costly in the way of research and gathering ideas then before. With the tools I am able to look at and create more work.
What is art?
Art is Life. Art is the soul. Art is the reason for being.
When do you get your best ideas?
in the middle of the night into early morning.
How do you evaluate whether an idea is good or not?
evaluate if the idea is good for me when I keep thinking about that idea and I am driven by it.
Three creative ideas that you would have liked to have created?
1- public art project in Brazil.
2- create a body of work from the stories from the Bible.
3- Have my body of artwork created into feature movie
When and how did you begin to see yourself as an artist?
When I decided this is what I want to do 22 years ago. That is when i decided to create, learn and grow in the arts.
Why do so many artists and creators have such volatile personalities?
There are people who are volatile that are not artists. Many artists i know are not volatile. So for me the question is not accurate. This is a stereotype. Our culture highlights artists how are as an excuse why they are creative.
Do you consider yourself postmodern?
Post ???????? What ???????????. I have never wanted to limit myself with such labels.
How should a work of art be evaluated?
By people who have the understanding and studied the process, cultural, historical, social, emotional aspects that influence that art. Then the work should be judged by the technical ability and craftmanship to comparable works.
Must an artist reinvent him/herself everyday?
In important for me as an artist to reinvent myself to truly explore as many creative ideas that can make difference in my process.
Which artists do you admire and how do they influence your work?
Romare Bearden and Robert Rauschenberg for their use of collage, mixed media and found objects.
What do you think about public funding for the arts?
I think it is important for public to be invested in the arts that are for public benefit. This is one of the ways people can see value and the importance that they may not see otherwise.
Is art necessary?
Without art there is no culture and there is no life. Some may not fully understand until there is no music, dance, drama, creative writing and visual art in our lives. Just imagine without any of that. My answer yes it is necessary.
Does it pain you to let go of a piece you have sold?
No. Its wonderful that someone value my work enough to buy it.
In art, there is no guide. How do you know what the next step is?
Being open to other ideas without being stop by fear I look for the next step. Also in working a lot I had gain experience to know by my instinct to go forward.
How do you feel about the fact that the pieces exhibited in contemporary art museums are often of artists already deceased?
The pro are that works of those artists can be enjoyed and studied for generations. therefore Artist are still relevant well past their life time. Th Con is that wonderful works by living artists may not have opportunities to exhibit in certain museums. In Los Angeles there are many museums that serve both.
What role have the figures of art dealer, gallery owners, representatives, and intermediaries in general played in your career?
they help to create the value of my work in the marketplace. They also handled the business aspects that were needed to further my career beyond my expertise.
What types of jobs do you usually do?
also function as;
Board President of Non-Profit arts organization
Which of your jobs or tasks do you most enjoy?
Whenever I am creating the art.
Do you personally collect any items?
I collect books, other artists works and found materials for the creation of my work
What advice would you give to those just beginning?
Follow your dream. Follow your passion and create a plan. then surround your self with people that matters and who can make a difference.