Norm “Nomzee” Maxwell: Great Paintings

Laurie says:

No life is precious unless all life is precious (Trayvon Martin)

I saw this exhibition a few days ago in the Luna Rienne in my neighborhood at Luna Rienne . It’s called “Made in the Ghetto”. It’s been a long time since I saw unfamiliar work that moved me this much. The pictures are mostly paintings and of some size. Seeing them on the screen will not do more then give an impression of the work. The textures and contrasts in the art are extraordinarily vivid and complex and need to be seen in the originals. Unfortunately I saw the show almost at the end. It’s been extended thru this Saturday. If you can see it in the Mission in San Francisco in this short time do. There’s an excellent selection of his work and also a video on the Luna Rienne site that gives a fuller perspective on the work.


After having a varied and successful career in multiple fields and mediums. he opened his own gallery in LA. He sold and exhibited his work worldwide.

Norm Maxwell: Made In The Ghetto (1969-2016) honors the life and body of work of the recently-deceased urban contemporary artist and long-time Luna Rienne Gallery collaborator.

Born in Philadelphia, PA on January 25, 1969, Maxwell and his two brothers had a rough upbringing in a broken home. He was fully susceptible to and influenced by street life, finding his expression in writing graffiti as “Ice”. His mother’s artistic inclinations, frequent visits to the Philadelphia Museum Of Art, and encouragement from teachers led him to pursue an academic degree in art…


Maxwell was a prolific artist whose skills and subject matter spanned the extremes of painting. From acrylic spray to oil brush, street life to ancient myth, and urban strife to family life, Maxwell addressed both the evil and beauty of humanity – a duality that he personally struggled with during his short and magnificent life. He is survived by his wife and two children.


Norm “Nomzee” Maxwell was a visual artist whose education came via the streets (Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles) and the Hussian School Of Art. His combination of urban upbringing and fine art training resulted stylistically in an esoteric combination of color, light, and subject matter. Culturally, Maxwell was a quintessential urban contemporary artist, with a portfolio that included graffiti, street wear design, club flyer and album art, graphic design, set design, and fine art painting. He passed away in 2016 at the age of 47.

I’m going to go back again to see the work. There is so much there it requires multiple viewings.