Maxwell Hartley: The Visitor

For the February issue of Artborne Magazine, I was tasked with writing about sculptor Maxwell Hartley.  Specializing in the appropriation of discarded industrial materials for his epic commentaries on a society fascinated with all things disposable, he is a truly genuine human with a big heart.  I was honored and humbled to see the article become the cover story for that issue and Maxwell deserves all the praise and recognition.  Below is an excerpt from the article, “Maxwell Hartley: The Visitor.”  My hope is that you will read the entire article on

“Maxwell Hartley is not of this world. He is a visitor from a parallel universe; one in which natural resources are cherished like gifts and are conserved and preserved. The humans in his universe reject the perpetual desire for more and for new and for the newer still—desires so rampant in this universe. In his universe, Hartley is a punk sage endowed with the understanding of how quickly a civilization crumbles under its obsession with superficial systems and ideologies. Knowing this, he is charged with the task of delivering humankind in this universe from its own demise—self-destruction via mass consumption. Assuming the guise of an artist, Hartley embarks on a seemingly impossible mission. It is a Logan’s Run-style odyssey to free humankind from its self-imposed shackles of consumerism before time expires. In thirty short years, he has accomplished so much, but there is more to do.

The humans in this universe live disposable lives and Hartley’s gift (and curse) is the ability to see below the surface of everything. Everything. His work begs the viewer to seek a life of substance and to abandon the need for instant-gratification. His artwork encourages the viewer to relinquish a life spent floating on the surface and to sink like an anchor into a world of meaning, emotion, and purpose. His work continually suggests that feeling the pressure and darkness and uncertainty of the deep oceans of life are necessary to human existence.”


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