Current Featured Artist 29(2)

Featured Artist: Maika'i Tubbs















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Maika‘i Tubbs began making art from recycled trash in New York, where he noticed trash bags piled as tall as him appearing and disappearing daily. Having earned a BFA in painting from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 2002, he moved to New York for graduate studies at Parsons School of Design, where he completed an MFA in 2015. Much of his early work includes sculpture and installations with melted and repurposed plastics, whose color and sheen remain in the finished work. More recent installations include rocks made from fusions of beach plastic, cigarette butts, cardboard, plastic shopping bags, Styrofoam, and other trash materials, inspired by “plastiglomerate,” an anthropogenic stone that geologists identify as a byproduct of human pollution. Currently based in Brooklyn, Tubbs was born in Hawai‘i, where this agglutinate marker of the current Anthropocene epoch is a startling reminder of man’s impact on the environment, especially where it is found accumulating in coastal areas such as Kamilo Beach on the island of Hawai‘i and Kahuku Beach on O‘ahu. Seductive and conceptually challenging, Tubbs’s work confronts us with our complicity as consumers in cycles of waste and overconsumption. It also reminds us of the necessity to unlock creative potential to solve some of the problems that confront us today. His work has been represented in numerous national and international shows and is featured in permanent collections of the Landesmuseum Hannover in Germany, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the Honolulu Museum of Art, and the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, State of Hawai‘i Permanent Collection. For more information, please see

The art featured in this issue can be viewed in full color in the online versions.