Pop artist Michael Albert, pioneer of “cerealism” in his one-of-a-kind mosaics, intersects with consumerism in wild and wondrous ways.
While studying business at New York University, he often frequented the Metropolitan Museum of Art, marveling at artists like Vincent Van Gogh who challenged his classes’ typical definitions of success. While Van Gogh never sold a painting in life, he rose to superstar status posthumously and his works have fetched prices in the tens of millions.
“I started thinking to myself that I wanted to do something interesting that makes other people happy and inspires people,” says Albert who is both an artist and founder of his all natural and organic company, Sir Real Juices. “To me, Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most successful people who ever lived, and he couldn’t make a living at all.”
Inspired, Albert drew in his free time while listening to music or hanging out with friends. This year’s quarantine brought him into the studio each day to engage in a very similar practice. He set up his phone, turned on Facebook Live and started streaming and sharing his unique collaging process with friends and fans from around the world.
Albert’s “Map of the World” was completed during the two and a half months of COVID-19 lockdown. A visual smorgasbord of cities, countries and fonts from familiar cardboard packaging, the large mosaic is a part of The Joe Center for the Arts’ “Lighten UP! Getting Past the COVID Blues” virtual gallery and window display this October.
“Since I was starting to work so much in the studio, I knew I wanted to do a large piece, and thought it was the perfect time to do a map of the world since it was a global pandemic,” says Albert.
The exhibit showcases artists’ pandemic creations with a limited selection on display in the windows of The Joe. The rest of the artworks are available to view in the online gallery display through Oct. 31.
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