Michael Hambouz Feeds Creativity With Creativity


Multidisciplinary artist, multi-instrumentalist musician, illustrator, and impartial curator are a number of the greatest hats Brooklyn, NewYork-based Michael Hambouz wears. The primary-generation Palestinian-American creates chromaesthesia-influenced works – experiments in measurement and colour, created beneath the steering of tune – to procedure bouts of loss and self-reflections on cultural id.

“The instant I paid off my scholar loans and used to be in a position to position away sufficient financial savings to stay me afloat for six months, I give up my closing paid wage place…throwing warning and excellent healthcare protection to the wind,” Michael says of the instant artwork went from interest to profession for him. “On the very finish of my 6-month mark, I used to be commissioned to color the titling sequences for Oliver Stone’s “Untold Historical past of the USA” advert marketing campaign for Showtime – this gig supplied me with sufficient source of revenue to increase my time within the studio for every other yr, duvet the bills for my first solo display, and the marketing campaign used to be in the long run awarded a 2013 Silver Promax BDA Award, serving to to release my representation aspect industry. It’s been 12 years now that I’ve been operating full-time in my studio (I superstitiously knock on wooden each time I state this).”

Experimenting freely with mediums, Michael encourages sudden effects and mutations to bloom within the studio, leading to conceptually abstracted artwork and prints, intricate paper cutouts, third-dimensional sculptural works, drawings, and animations.

light-skinned male with dark hair and short-sleeve black t-shirt sits with his head in his hands against a light pink background

Michael Hambouz Photograph: Lauren Silberman

It clicked for Michael across the age of seven that artwork might be one thing larger for him. “At age 7, my 2d grade classmates and I had been each and every assigned to create an artwork piece impressed through our favourite fairytale. Whilst maximum scholars delivered heavy-on-the-parent-assistance shoebox dioramas, I spent two hours after college on a daily basis for 2 weeks in the study room operating on a 9-foot-tall portrait of the enormous from Jack and the Beanstalk. I used to be shy and no longer fairly prepared to the idea that of revealing off at that age, which made the feat really feel very natural in motivation. To me, the grand scale used to be very important. The rest smaller would have merely been misguided,” he shared. “It used to be additionally right through this time that my oldsters had been going thru an excessively turbulent and nasty separation. Looking back, it used to be completely this second that I spotted artwork may provide me with certain escapism, independence, self assurance, and the equipment to procedure existence’s maximum tricky demanding situations – there used to be no different trail for me.”

Lately, we’re glad to have Michael Hambouz sign up for us for Friday 5!

elderly woman with white hair holding a small sculpture

Photograph: Fred R. Conrad, The New York Instances

1. Eva Zeisel

Hungarian-born American business fashion designer Eva Zeisel made works of natural attractiveness – colourful, sublime, playful, tactile, and out there. She used to be astoundingly prolific and her paintings all the time so very distinctly “Eva.” It used to be an honor for me to plot her one hundredth birthday celebration a few years in the past and get to understand her just a little higher – sharp humorousness, type, and so thoughtfully well-spoken. She promptly arrived at 6pm and used to be the closing to depart her birthday party round 11pm. She endured actively making paintings till she gave up the ghost only a few years later on the outstanding age of 105. Even though our practices and mediums of selection vary, I to find it laborious to consider every other artist this is extra inspiring to me than Eva. I extremely counsel studying Eva Zeisel: A Soviet Jail Memoir.

blue and purple toned photo of a concert

Taraka functioning at Our Depraved Woman, Brooklyn, New York Photograph: Michael Hambouz

2. Reside Tune

As a spectator or as a player, reside tune has all the time been an important a part of my existence. Once I first began visiting New York Town within the past due 90s, I might pour over the display listings within the Village Voice similarly to taking a look on the Sears’ Christmas toy catalog as just a little child. I didn’t fairly notice simply how a lot I neglected seeing displays right through the pandemic till I in any case masked up and hit the streets after a two-year hiatus. I promised myself that if the next bands got here to the town, I might take the time: Bristol UK’s Beak>, Montreal’s Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and New York state’s personal Taraka. I used to be lucky to look all 3 within the closing yr – completely transcendent. As a musician, I’ve discovered that without equal display makes me 50% entranced and 50% impressed to depart straight away to head play tune as loud as I will be able to in my practice session house. Those 3 displays did that to me (I stayed till the top for they all, so I assume 51% to 49%?).

collage of six images from gallery shows and studio tours

From left to proper, best to backside: the studios of Will Hutnick, Courtney Childress, Julia Norton, Tony Cox, Stephen Somple, and Roxanne Jackson Footage through Michael Hambouz

3. Studio/Gallery Visits

I’m an excessively social, community-oriented soul through nature. Even though I will be able to simply spend weeks on finish centered alone paintings within the studio, regularly forgetting when to blink or consume lunch. I’ve discovered that I in reality thrive maximum after I take time to interact with fellow creatives, speaking thru our present tasks, and extra regularly than no longer, speaking about the whole lot beneath the solar except for artwork. I ensure that I take a minimum of two days off each and every month to studio seek advice from with different artists, and a least two days each and every month to seek advice from peers’ and friends-of-friends’ gallery displays during town. Sharing a couple of contemporary studio seek advice from highlights – I’m particularly interested in visiting artists that paintings with fabrics and processes overseas to my private apply.

black and maroon logo reading Democracy Now!

Symbol courtesy Democracy Now!

Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman gave a chat at my alma mater Antioch School within the mid-90s in a while after the release of the display, leaving an indelible impact on me. I’ve been an avid follower since, tuning in day by day, and feature even volunteered of their construction administrative center through the years right through fund-drives. I firmly imagine that all of us have a duty to understand and care about what’s happening on the planet round us, and feature get entry to to impartial, uncensored unfastened press to stay us knowledgeable. As an established human rights and social justice recommend, there are few different assets I believe greater than Democracy Now!

landscape sunset

Monsanto, Portugal Photograph: Michael Hambouz

5. Shuttle

Touring wasn’t within the playing cards for me rising up. We didn’t have the cash, and my mom hardly had time without work from operating a couple of jobs to even depart if we had had the sources. I by no means resented this, however I’ve made it some extent in my post-adolescent years to make up for misplaced time through touring on every occasion I in all probability can. World commute is maximum desired, however there may be nonetheless such a lot to look within the U.S. (I nonetheless have not begun to seek advice from the Grand Canyon!), or even a day motorbike journey over the Brooklyn Bridge could be a exciting journey. My closing giant travel used to be to the mountains of Portugal to seek advice from my sister after a protracted hole since our closing time in combination. We hiked, cooked, stuck up on SNL, chopped wooden, and picked olives – it used to be stunning – it all!


Paintings through Michael Hambouz:

maze-like red, black, yellow, and green art show poster

S within the G (2022), acrylic, flashe, and gouache on multidimensional panel, 36″ x 36″ x 3″. A up to date third-dimensional portray featured in my upcoming solo exhibition Sizzling Blooded at Troutbeck, introduced through Wassaic Venture and curated through Will Hutnick. Symbol courtesy Michael Hambouz

maze-like green and yellow image

Present Temper (2022), acrylic, flashe, and gouache on multidimensional panel, 36″ x 36″ x 3″. Symbol courtesy Michael Hambouz

illustration of a tiffany lamp and a pile of magazines

I Suppose We’re On my own-ish Now 2077 (2022), hand-cut paper on panel, 18”x24”. Symbol courtesy Michael Hambouz

illustration of old-fashioned vacuum and a vase of red poppies sitting on a table with a black white tablecloth

Occupational Danger (2022) Symbol courtesy Michael Hambouz

Kelly Beall is senior editor at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based graphic fashion designer and author has had a deep love of artwork and design for so long as she will take note, and enjoys sharing her reveals with others. When undistracted through nice artwork and design, she can also be discovered making a multitude within the kitchen, eating as a lot knowledge as imaginable, or at the sofa together with her 3 pets. In finding her @designcrush on social.



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