Chronic Art

Creator Cliff Maynard
 By Vinni Belfiore

Listening to Cliff Maynard describe his Chronic Art with statements like, “It’s kinda simple, really” could drive a person crazy with jealousy. The sheer complexity of the work would boggle lesser lights, but Cliff’s has a love of the art, and of course, the Chronic.

Born in the January cold of South Pointe, OH, the 37-year old artist’s rural roots are not in evidence today, except in perhaps his ability to create. There we see the inspiration of someone who was forced to use his imagination at an early age. That may explain his ability to seemingly shrug off a talent that is truly amazing.

Being one of Pittsburgh’s finest tattoo artists, Cliff’s forays into art include the human body as well as everything from Dungeons and Dragons-type model sets to a dragon sculpture made entirely of stems (tragically destroyed when a ferret found it’s way in to the box). But it his Chronic Art that has truly captured attention on a national scale.

As a student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Cliff had the opportunity to explore the arts and clearly took his cue from the great mosaics of the past. “I was studying mosaics in school” recalls Cliff. “I just remember sort of making this connection in my head between the tiles and roach papers.”

The results are works of art in and of themselves with the added attraction of being unique in so many ways. His portraits include rock stars like Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon and rappers Snoop Dog and Method Man, as well as legendary musician and smoker Jerry Garcia.

It’s when one sees the level of detail in Cliff’s work that the true amazement begins. Little bits of paper– otherwise thrown away– cut into delicate shapes and arranged together in such a way as to form a true work of art.

His first piece was a portrait of Jesus, and another piece he’s done also takes on the works of Michelangelo. “I don’t know” Cliff says with a chuckle, “I tend to gravitate towards religious imagery. Maybe it’s a Catholic thing…” 

In addition to projects near and dear to his heart, Cliff does private commissions as well and is currently designing the official collectors poster for the 2009 Seattle Hempfest, truly an honor.

bringing you that fire! stay tune for more posts.

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