by Michael Albert
I’ve been making art for about 35 years now since I was 19 years old and still a college student at NYU, where I studied business (BPA, 1998). After several years of drawing, I started using old labels, stickers, junk mail, and then extra, bad & duplicate photographs to create my art. It was a way of using materials I had no other use for & it made me felt good to use materials rather than to just throw them out & add to the problem we have of too much garbage in our society. At some point I began taking one good photo or image & cutting up into pieces (deconstructing it) and then putting it back together (reconstructing it) in my own way, mixed-up & resulting in an abstraction of the original image.
Then, in a magic moment that changed my life, one day (March 30, 1996) I took a Frosted Flakes cereal box that I had and did the same thing to it. I cut the cover off the box & proceeded to cut it up into a pile of pieces & then glued the pieces down in my own composition creating what would come to be known as “Portrait of An American Classic: Frosted Flakes #1” and later nicknamed “The Birth of Cerealism”. I soon realized that this was very much in the Pop Art genre like Andy Warhol, but with cut & paste technique as well as a modern type of cubism. I soon began cutting up cereal boxes & other iconic consumer brand packages in this way like a madman!
Over the course of about 3 years I created over 700 original collages of cereal boxes comprising what I believe to be one of the most & hundreds of other products as well. I would often create multiple versions of the same brand much the way a jazz musician composes variations on a theme, or how Monet would paint 20 or more versions of the same scene, such as his Rouen Cathedral or Haystacks series. Later I began using different elements of many different boxes to create colorful, detailed collages on a variety of different themes, but this is where it all began.
I am honored to have been chosen to be the Artist-in-Resident for the Harrison Public Library and am proud to present 14 of my favorite ‘Cerealism’ Masterworks for your virtual viewing pleasure!
I look forward to running a series of Virtual Workshops for the Harrison Public Library over the next 3 months. Please check with the library for details on how to join me in some creative collaging with the same type of materials.
For more information check out these links:
www.michaelalbert.com My website
www.pinterest.com/sirrealjuice/ My Pinterest where I have over 5,000 examples of my art and photos of past events & workshops
Trailer for Art Documentary “Michael Albert American Pop Artist” I’m working on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhAh8zn7oEY
Smithsonian Artist Interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDJ7vwtMlI0&t=32s
Michael Albert Cerealism / Virtual Exhibition list:
- Portrait of An American Classic : Frosted Flakes #1 created on March 30, 1996
- Froot Loops, March 8, 1997 (Squares)
- Cheerios on Black November 20, 1997
- Post Cerealism / Golden Crisps February 6, 1998
- Cap’n Crunch Berries, 1998
- Trix (The Pilgrim) November 12, 1999
- Raisin Bran January 1998
- Rice Krispies, May 8, 1997
- Apple Jacks (The Rosetta Stone) January 23, 1999
- Cheerios (Boardwalk effect) 1999
- Fruity Pebbles 1996
- Monster Cerealism / Boo Berry August 29, 1999
- Wheaties (Michael Jordan), August 23, 1997
- Special K (Heart), December 25, 1998