Artist Spotlight: MICX Abel

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Mikhael Abel, a.k.a. MICX, is a self-taught acrylic painter. For almost 10 years, MICX has been transforming his paper sketches into canvas art.

The art style of MICX can be described as a unique mixture of a contemporary background, with the subject of focus being visualized as modern. However, some pieces by MICX can be easily distinguished between contemporary art and modern art. MICX has done justice by visualizing and creating pieces based on many prominent Black figures, such as the late and great Kobe Bryant, Muhammad Ali and Nipsey Hussle, to name a few.

Images courtesy of Mikhael Abel

One of my favourite pieces by MICX is ‘Good Morning.’ This psychedelic art piece features Kanye West’s Dropout Bear surrounded by two ghosts over its head, a fire demon in the right-hand corner, a moon with star eyes and its tongue sticking out, and a mushroom with a halo in the bottom left corner. ‘Good Morning’ is not only visually pleasing because of its vibrant colours and exaggerated details, but also because it’s a beautiful story and depiction of a drug user. The creative choice of the halo on the mushroom, along with the yellow aura, is pure genius, as it represents the psychedelic drug as a holy grail. Yellow is the least prominent colour in the painting–merely staining three (not including the eyes) spots. MICX paints the background using cooler colours, such as different shades of blue and purple. This represents the cold world hosting the demons surrounding Dropout Bear, and his need for his holy grail, the mushroom. Controversially, the mushroom cap is also painted with different shades of blue, as the stem is dotted in blue as well. This could symbolize that drugs may also be demonic in nature, despite how we may view them as a heavenly escape.

Images courtesy of Mikhael Abel

Another one of my favourite pieces is ‘Welcome to Kissland.’ This piece is one of the more ‘modern art’ styles of paintings that MICX has done. This canvas is a portrait of The Weeknd, one of my favourite artists. MICX has captured the iconic look of The Weeknd: high dreadlocks—with a notable skin fade using a different shade of black acrylic—and a beard. My favourite aspect of this painting is the background. Not only does it incorporate The Weeknd’s label, ‘XO,’ glowing in the background, but The Weeknd himself is glowing with an emerald green aura. A green aura represents balance, growth, change (The Weeknd is definitely not afraid to change his style), and depicts a love of people, nature, and animals. Emerald green, the acrylic used, specifically means that person is loving and a healer (The Weeknd’s voice is quite therapeutic). This piece is a great homage and tribute to the Scarborough native.

Images courtesy of Mikhael Abel

MICX’s Instagram page, @mastermindz_inc, showcases a wide variety of his acrylic paintings, and pencil and charcoal sketches. You can also check out his YouTube channel MICX Abel to check out his creative processes and how he turns sketches into acrylic canvas art.

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