The Story Behind Maykel Medina
Maykel is a Floridian resident artist. With almost two decades of experience his versatile portfolio shows a variety of unique, handcrafted artwork inspired in human relations and nature, specifically in marine life and representing every stage in his life.
The story behind Maykel's art began in Cuba, his home country, at kindergarten age when we got amazed with the idea of "shaping" his father's rocking chair, he ran for a kitchen knife and chop the chair arm, without realizing it was getting ruined. His father was so nice but Maykel wished to be a real carver to fix the mess, however the cutting tools were out of reach for years. In the meantime, we grow up passionate for drawing. This was a skilled hobby in his maternal family for over 3 generations until Maykel's decide to make it an enjoyable way of living. His 1st carving was a woman sculpture about a hand size shaped with a regular knife in high school. With the geographical limitations of getting into the Visual Arts Academy he opted for the 2nd option and became a Certified Veterinarian. But he was stocked in a field where creativity was never flowing and after the Cuban's Mandatory Military Service, he took an enduring decision: chase a different pathway as an artist. The hard work and restricted access of learning the skills he dreamed of, wasn't an obstacle and during 8 years he achieved great results and built a regional recognized career in the woodcarving business, mastering the use of ancient chisels techniques in custom-made furniture while getting commissions from different states.
However, his professional grow was limited until he emigrated to Miami, FL in 2009 with his wife Yaimara and his son Marcos. For over 10 years he has created life size wooden sculptures, a variety of commissions, acrylic paintings, fine furniture and has included them in functional projects as well. Art shows around the country are the main scenario to exhibit his latest collections of relief carvings.
As a self-taught artist Maykel's always developing new skills and learning different techniques while keeps his portfolio original and current. Today he spends his free time at the charming Gulf Beaches in West Coast Central FL where he lives and gets inspired for the luxury wall sculptures in the current collection; an innovative integration of materials, ancient techniques learned and new finishing, involving a detailed process of sketch and design, modeling, carving, casting and ultra-smooth finishing with metallic automotive painting.
Maykel's ongoing training and endeavor has delivered a pristine visual artwork to collectors and provided constant inspiration for personal grow.
Current Collection Inspiration & Process
Every artwork we exhibit at jury local and national art shows, at showroom and here starts at Maykel's creative vision of the perfectly happy room that wash worries away.
Living near the coast and visiting pristine rivers and lakes around the country keeps the inspiration always fresh. New sketches take time, and several drafts are drawn before it feels right. Next step is to decide if it will start as carving or modeling. Carving everything in solid cellular polyvinyl was the way to go when the collection born. This technique is messy but exciting, requires the error free precision and combines modern and ancient techniques and tools like chisels, that Maykel learned to use long time ago. Today is used mostly for large artwork. Modeling is time consuming but Maykel's most enjoyable way to sculpt. Details and corrections are worry free with modeling and is the choice for medium and small sculptures now. Some of the relief carvings in polyvinyl, like mermaids mostly, go to the final painting step and sold. Maykel takes other carvings for his own handmade cold casting using a polymer that ends solid white, very similar to the carvings. Both end with several base coats and sanding until perfectly smooth and then is where the 2nd magic step starts, the painting time. Most sculptures are between half and 1.5 inches, so the painting brings not only color but dimension too. Modern broken bubbles techniques have been recently added in a combination of beautiful metallic colors and crushed glass to put together an amazing show in direct or sun light. All sculptures end with a protection clear coat and the artist signature that will pass through generations on collectors' families.
Connecting with the artist vision
Have you ever seen a piece of art and wonder what was in the artist mind while creating it? What am I really seeing here?
This is the artist point of view for " Ocean Calling", the current collection:
Definitely not a simple addition of shapes, materials and paints, but an intentional combination of nature, texture, color and a message for our generation and the ones to come. Maykel sketches a new sculpture for days until he captures what it feels as a real moment in life, somewhere in the vast ocean or lakes, an image that brings peace and happiness to him, so after finished can offer the same to everyone that stand in front of it. It's not only a time portion of the artist life or the summary of his work and learning but the mystery, beauty and powerful majesty of the world we are privileged to life on. Certainly, a world we should take care.