New York, based artist Tim Maxwell started the journey into art in 2002, receiving a BFA from Penn State University and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 2004. Spurred by his admiration for Gothic architecture and Celtic manuscripts. Maxwell envisions hand-drawn illusions executed through his precision handling of an ink pen.
I outline an idea I have in pencil, then I fill it in with a lot of Ink and a lot of lines, then later I elaborate the forms.
Searing the paper in black ink, Maxwell articulates his mysterious yet cryptic narrative. That emits an optical mirage propelling viewers’ into a void of intense visual analysis. Tim’s work is an atmospheric escapade into his extraordinary manipulation of lines. We manage to catch up with the New York artist ahead of his NFT release on Foundation which drops on APRIL 1 ~ 5PM EST. In this interview, we learn more about Tim’s practice, inspiration and more.
Q: What is your inspiration, and why do you do what you do?
A: Probably to escape fear and anxiety through pleasure without any corresponding pain. I do what I do because there is no other alternative. I can’t do anything else, and nothing else brings me as much pleasure.
Q: Can you tell us about your creative process?
A: I outline an idea I have in pencil, then I fill it in with a lot of Ink and a lot of lines, then later I elaborate the forms.
Q: What is the reason behind your fusion of illuminated Celtic manuscripts with medieval aesthetics in your work?
A: My love of tattoos merged with my love for Gothic Architecture.
Q: What was the first piece of art you made that cemented your path as an artist?
A: I was 18 years old, and I drew a piece that a week later I would have tattooed on my left arm.
Q: What was your most memorable exhibition, and why?
A: In retrospect, it was probably a Richard Serra exhibition. It made me use different senses to experience art.
Q: What is your favourite piece, and why?
A: “The Blind Leading The Blind” by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. I think it is an apt summation of the human condition. From history learning from history and the young learning from the old.
Q: What do you think about the current state of the art world for artists?
A: It’s fair game for all with the democratization of art through social media. It will never be fair, but has it ever? And, more artists are allowed to play, so that’s good.
Q: What role does the artist have in society?
A: To stimulate the senses and ideally inspire the viewer to think or act.
Q: What artists have caught your attention in the last five years?
A: Honestly, Donald Judd and Mark Rothko.
Q: What are your thoughts on NFT art and the current NFT market boom?
A: I see the potential of this being a significant paradigm shift, separating the old and the new. Artists have been craving change, and it is here. There will be growing pains, the herd will thin, formats will change, but something inspiring is in the air. As Thomas Kuhn said, “A new paradigm cannot be exist unless the old has something to change to”. The time is now. And, the old art world is shaking. The pot is calling the kettle black. Exciting times indeed.