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Born in Atlantic City, NJ in 1960, a time and place rich with imagery and influences close to home at the jersey shore and in the media. Saturday mornings watching classic horror mov- ies and the best cartoons ever created. Summers spent on the beach or at the Boardwalk.
Educated at The College of New Jersey Majoring in Advertising Design with a Minor in Illustration.
Mike has spent 25 years in the advertising field, working for Advertising agencies, starting out as a designer and eventually a Creative Director. He has spent the last 13 years concentrat- ing solely on his art.
Mike Bell’s artwork blends an aura of nostalgia and humor to stylized iconic images that exist in both our world and a trans-like surreal world. His artwork creates a world of volitality and misgivings yet simultaneously, of beauty, harmony and an imaginative version of reality. Im- ages of bold beauty and yet contain an incendiary undercurrent. Combined with vivid color and a combination of influences. Iconic New Jersey images, wildlife,vintage toys, punk rock, classic monsters, Japanese cartoons and carnival imagery are among the cultural forces that have shaped his art. His paintings have broad powerful strokes but small details are not to be overlooked.
His matchbook art is an original creation that combines miniature pencil portraits on match- books utilizing the matches for the subjects hands.
His art is admired by many collectors including Bradley Cooper, Howard Stern, Kirk Hammet (Metallica), Mike Trout, Guy Pierce, Carice van Houten (Game of Thrones), Glenn Tillbrook (Squeeze), Mike Judge (Beavis & Butthead), Norman Reedus( Walking Dead) & Pat Croce. His match art is currently touring the Ripley’s “Believe it or Not” Museums.
His artwork has been shown in galleries throughout the world, primarily in the U.S. but also in Ontario, Sweden and Frankfurt, Germany. He was featured in 6 published books, The Art of Being Bill: Bill Murray and The Many Faces of Awesome by Race Point Publish- ing, Edgy Cute by Mark Batty Publishing, New York, King of the Kustomizers: The Art of George Barris by Brett Barris, Mona Lisa Reimagined and Electric Frankenstien’s Rock & Roll Poster Art by Sal Canzonieri.