Maxine Hoover: Stargirl is on a Meteoric Rise in New York Art World

Maxine Hoover is a dynamic force in New York's art scene, expertly balancing roles as a fine artist, curator, and model. For the past six months, she has been curating weekly exhibitions at the Landmark Art Space in Chelsea, showcasing her keen eye for emerging talent (and a killer opening night outfit - she hasn’t repeated a dress once!). Hoover's multifaceted career recently earned her recognition as a Power Woman in Manhattan, an honor that included a meeting with Mayor Adams.

Her artistic journey began early, nurtured in an arts-focused middle school where creativity was woven into daily life. This formative experience, combined with her lifelong practice of yoga and meditation, has profoundly influenced her artistic vision. Hoover's recent works, such as "Piercing the Golden Ring" and "Starsuit Lady," explore themes of inner and outer exploration, reflecting her fascination with human psychology and the vastness of human potential.

Maxine Hoover and Vicki Khuzami at the opening of “Summer Spirit: Tenacious Women in Art” on June 13

Hoover's curatorial approach mirrors her artistic philosophy, seeking to uplift emerging artists and encourage viewers to explore both their inner and outer worlds. Her recent exhibition, "Summer Spirit: Tenacious Women in Art," featured works by Vicki Khuzami, including the intriguing "Telenovelas Suburbia" series. The pulp fiction inspired scenes within vintage dollhouses inspired by film noir are delightful and provocative. Eteri Chkadua, a Georgian artist, is another of our favorites from this curation. The large portraits include subjects with intense, challenging dark eyes, red lips and abundant hair who beat a striking physical resemblance to the artist.

Maxine Hoover next to her piece, “Self Portrait in an Earth Spiral” with “Ras Gregory” and “Ras Afrika” by Eteri Chkadua to her left and “Night Birth” (gown) by Francesca Schwartz to her right.

Maxine Hoover sat down with Creativo to discuss her origin story, this show and what exciting projects she has coming up next!

Abbey: What draws you to art and how did you get started in the visual arts?

Maxine: I've been creating art for as long as I can remember, starting as a child drawing cartoons, painting, and making my own clothing. As I began receiving paid commissions for paintings, pursuing art as a career became a natural choice, leading me to move to NYC at 18. Since then, I've continued my art practice, taken on creative roles with top designers, represented fine artists, and now curate group shows.

Abbey: As an artist you’ve created custom clothing, painted on canvas and also created murals. What is your favorite way to create right now?

Maxine: I love experimenting with different surfaces to paint on. Canvas, denim, leather, and wood are some of my favorites. Lately I’ve been really into painting life-size figures on large sails. The sails are so huge I usually cut them into pieces of 3 or 4. I’ve really been enjoying working on a large scale, because it forces me to think bigger!

Abbey: Your subject matter in the latest pieces is very mystical and almost transcendent. You depict your body surrounded by light or circles. What inspires this type of work?

Maxine: I’ve always been inspired by dreams and interpretations of the out of body experience, because they open the mind up to the idea of alternative realities, and challenge what we know to be “real”. I like to paint figures transcending their physical forms, bursting with energy and life force, and becoming the impossible. I want my art to challenge viewers to recognize their own infinite potential, and to embrace the unknown with a playful and curious mind.

Entrance to the “Summer Spirit: Tenacious Woman in Art” show curated by Maxine Hoover

Abbey: You also collaborate and work on paintings with your partner Reid Stowe. What is it like to collaborate on a painting with another artist?

Maxine: I love painting with Reid because we share the same goal to uplift ourselves and everyone around us with our work. A lot of our collaborative works are documentations of powerful things that we’ve done together, like having shared visions while meditating or gazing into each other's eyes until we cry. It’s a great experience to paint with him and share our work with others, because our paintings reveal epic stories from our real life experiences.

Abbey: For the past few months you have curated semi-weekly shows in Chelsea. What draws you to work with other artists in this way?

Maxine: Working with so many artists in a short period of time has been such a great experience. My favorite part is meeting each artist and learning about their back story, how they work, and discovering different styles and techniques through them. It’s also very satisfying to be able to provide great artists a space and community to showcase their work with, and our artists love it too!

Abbey: There are so many artists in New York! How do you curate these shows? What determines who makes the cut or not?

Maxine: It’s definitely a lot of work, and because we’ve been curating shows so frequently, we usually have a constant flow of artists approaching us, we find many on Instagram, and many get recommended to us by other artists. We look for great artists who are talented and unique, who are enthusiastic about exhibiting and invite their friends and followers to the shows.

Maxine Hoover with her piece “Journey through the Clouds”, 2023

Abbey: Is there a particularly memorable show you’ve curated recently? A favorite piece?

Maxine: Our show Nouveau Geo was a memorable one, not only was it our most cohesive show of all hard edge abstract work, but we were able to work with Richard Taittinger Gallery who generously lent us two pieces from the Nassos Daphnis Estate, which turned the show into a historical review, featuring works from 1980’s to today.

Abbey: You curate many shows with women artists. Is there a difference between art by men and art by women?

Maxine: Yes, I’ve been committed to curating at least one all-female show per month. My curations often include female artists who depict themselves as muses and stylized subjects, which is something I can relate to and tend to see more of. Alternatively, I explored a similar theme with male artists in a past show titled Male Heroes, which featured self-portraits and figurative pieces by men that exude heroic energy.

Abbey: Who is your favorite visual artist right now – it can’t be you or Reid!

Maxine: Hilma Af Klint is probably my favorite visual artist right now. Not only was she so ahead of her time as the first recorded abstract painter in history, and as a woman, but also how work is deeply influenced by her studies of spirituality, the supernatural and the mysteries of the universe.

Artwork on display at the “Summer Spirit: Tenacious Women in Art” opening before guests arrive

Abbey: What do you aspire to as an artist? When will you have “made it” so to speak?

Maxine: I try my best to live in the present moment and enjoy every step of the way, and my aspirations grow and evolve constantly. Of course I aspire to create a huge body of work over time that is influential and known. More importantly, I want my work to have a positive impact on viewers, by encouraging and inspiring them to recognize their own inner light, and to create the most positive version of themselves from that place.

Art possesses the transformative power to elevate our spirits and broaden our perspectives. As Maxine Hoover eloquently states, "There is a universe inside each of us and we have unlimited potential." This sentiment encapsulates the essence of art's role in human experience. Through various mediums, art challenges us to explore beyond our immediate reality, igniting curiosity about both our inner worlds and the vast cosmos around us. It serves as a bridge between the tangible and the imagined, encouraging us to question, dream, and push boundaries. By inspiring introspection and outward exploration, art unveils our hidden capacities and connects us to the broader human experience. It reminds us that our potential is boundless, urging us to embark on journeys of self-discovery and universal understanding.

Maxine Hoover’s artwork and curations most definitely inspire us to discover new worlds and we can’t wait to see more when her shows are back soon in the fall!

Find Maxine Hoover on her social channels:

“Starsuit Lady”, 2023 by Maxine Hoover

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