Opening on the 1st May 2021, Mikael B’s latest body of work follows three years of preparation, experimentation and the pursuit of his full potential.
Inspired by Dalí, Kay Sage, Pollock, Peter Saul and Albert Oehlen, Flow State unanimously explores, juxtaposes and reconciles the three worlds of abstract expressionism, geometric abstraction and surrealism, with Mikael’s signature idiom. Showcasing an array of vibrant canvases where colors and geometric shapes organically flow into one another, the exhibition echoes the mental and physical process behind the creation of art, and the experience of art.
As a self-described outsider, Mikael B is constantly breaking through barriers, operating between genres and carving his own path. As a result, Flow State is so much more than a typical white walls experience. Rather than accept the classic gallery format, Mikael has taken over everything from the gallery space to the walls themselves. From the moment you step in, you are entering Mikael’s futuristic abstract vision; a space coated in vinyl with a 3D effect that welcomes visitors to an immersive experience.
Created with one foot in the contemporary art world and the other in the world of graffiti, the exhibition is described by Mikael as “an experiment with the tangible and intangible world. It’s a mental state of complete absorption in what one does, how the pieces were created and how the pieces are to be looked at. Flow State revolves entirely around a transformation in one’s sense of time”.
Explaining the importance of flow to his work, Mikael also comments “my artistic process sometimes starts with a lot of planning, and at other times, absolutely no planning. The end result goes from being predetermined to spontaneous, to unexpected. Those two contradicting ways of approaching a blank canvas transcend traditional art movements and give me a great feeling of freedom. By never allowing myself to get too comfortable, I always remain in a constant state of reinvention and experimentation: a flow state”.
From this very ‘flow state’ Mikael has also created a bronze sculptural piece to be unveiled at the opening. Marking his first free-standing non-geometric bronze sculpture, this is a brand-new direction for Mikael and at over 300lbs is no small feat.
Maddox Gallery Creative Director, Jay Rutland, comments that “Mikael’s latest body of work effortlessly brings together the world of contemporary art with that of graffiti, cultivating an immersive experience that is representative of both his signature style and his growth as an artist”. He adds that “in the spirit of bringing together new styles, pieces and more importantly the community, we’re looking forward to sharing Flow State both within our LA gallery as well as digitally for the world to enjoy”.
Presenting a combination of works, Mikael creates an alternative reality; a ‘flow state’ where viewers enter into the mental state of Mikael, his unique vision and his transformation in time.
Mikael B. Born in 1984 in Denmark and now based in Los Angeles, Mikael B is an urban contemporary artist whose work focuses on transforming experience into an abstract design. Influenced by his early years as a graffiti artist where he painted under the moniker ‘KETS’, Mikael B uses a mixture of spray and acrylic paint to create his dynamic conceptual works. Taking inspiration from the refracted shapes of Cubism, Mikael B’s artwork focuses on both depth and form, echoing the style of Picasso, but with a street art twist and a pop of colour.
Finding fame through the power that is social media, Mikael’s unmistakable style has been sought after by some of the world’s most renowned businesses. Collaborating with American Express, Bentley, LinkedIn, Google, Nike and most recently the coveted Topps Project 70 this Danish artist continues to gather critical acclaim across the globe.
With a deep personal commitment to philanthropy, Mikael B also uses his art to bring awareness to important world issues in an effort that he labels #artwareness. As an ambassador to the Red Cross Denmark and The Perfect World Foundation, Mikael B not only played a part in the Maddox Gallery 2020 Art for Heroes initiative but has also committed to planting one million trees as part of the ‘Attenborough Forest’ project.