Norm “Nomzee” Maxwell was a visual artist whose education came via the streets (Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles) and the Hussian School Of Art. His combination of urban upbringing and fine art training resulted stylistically in an esoteric combination of color, light, and subject matter. Culturally, Maxwell was a quintessential urban contemporary artist, with a portfolio that included graffiti, street wear design, club flyer and album art, graphic design, set design, and fine art painting.
Born in Philadelphia, PA on January 25, 1969, Maxwell was fully susceptible to and influenced by street life, finding his expression in writing graffiti in the 1980s as “Ice”. Mentors and peers encouraged him to pursue an art degree, and his career began in Los Angeles’ Skid Row in the early 1990s alongside urban art visionary Doze Green and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Clarence Williams.
Like many burgeoning urban artists, Maxwell survived and flourished in San Francisco, then back to LA, by taking on a plethora of art and design jobs, including art directing multiple big-budget music videos under Hype Williams. In 2007, he focused his energy back to fine art and opened Norm Maxwell Studio Gallery, which spanned six years and three locations. Maxwell garnered commissions from patrons in Los Angeles, Paris, Seoul, Berlin, and Dubai.
Maxwell was a prolific artist whose skills and subject matter spanned the extremes of painting. From acrylic spray to oil brush, street life to ancient myth, and urban strife to family life, Maxwell addressed both the evil and beauty of humanity -- a duality that he personally struggled with during his short and magnificent life. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Cut And Paste
Cut And Paste examines contemporary collage from a diversity of artists with unique techniques and subject matter. The resulting works of colorful art cover the gamut of figurative, surreal, and abstract.
Tales Of San Francisco
Tales Of San Francisco includes paintings wherein The City is one of the main characters. Both Huxley and Young have always beautifully rendered the local landscape in a way that is uniquely narrative and inspirational. In a time of much architectural and cultural change, these works capture an essence that will hopefully remain constant.
Tracks Of Never Ending Light
Tracks Of Never Ending Light showcases Stokes' recent foray into line and color. Using masks, spray cans, and aerosol tips, he has created a body of work comprised of numerous colorful lines that please the eye on a surface level and invite further investigation into technique.
The Wild Kingdoms
The Wild Kingdoms references the numerous nature specials Coffy watched as a kid. His latest body of work combines his love of animals with his interest in design aesthetic and juxtaposition. With each painting, he creates a vignette about life, death, and the searching moments in between.
Prophecy Of Nature
Prophecy Of Nature examines and exalts the temporal quality of flora and fauna. From the signature botanicals of oil painter Ivy Jacobsen to Martin Hsu’s recent body of work exploring the precariousness of wildlife, each of the painters is inspired by the quickly-changing natural world around us. Lela Shields strives to reveal the fragility of life by creating organic pieces started with a random pour of ink on the surface. Julia Lucey creates etching collages depicting plants and animals native to Northern California, and Ursula Xanthe Young offers whimsical beauty in her work.
Showcasing their recent painting expedition through Italy as well as everyday life in San Francisco, Different Perspectives portrays each artist's individualistic eye and hand during their shared experience. Holdsworth plein air oil paintings attempt to capture the energy of a particular place while Landau's studio acrylics evoke a feeling about that place. The couple met in 1980 during an SFAI alumni show at SOMArts Gallery.