Iconic pop culture imagery splashed across modern-day situations is the blueprint for Mike Bell’s canvases. The result? A vibrant, bold, offbeat and humorous narrative – true lowbrow. Classic monsters, science fiction, vintage toys, MAD Magazine, pin-ups and Japanese cartoons are among the cultural forces of Bell’s youth that find their way to the end of his paint brush to tell a figurative story and give us an outcome that can be pretty weird, yet ultra cool.
In recent years, Mike Bell has also created a unique gallery – drawing black and white pencil portraits of iconic celebrities on matchbooks, while using the actual matches in the display. Borne of an act of random bar doodling, his matchbook art has become increasingly popular. Currently, approximately 40 of Bell’s matchbooks are touring the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museums. His take? “Everyone likes to play with matches.”
On a personal note, Bell is proud to tell you he’s from the Jersey Shore – born and raised. When he’s not creating his next match piece or monster piece in his home studio, or making appearances at his many solo and group shows, you can find him with his toes in the sand or lounging in his backyard hammock.