“Start before you’re ready.”
Painter, muralist, photographer, graphic designer, gallery artist, environmentalist, and author-Maya Hayuk is known by many titles, but she is perhaps most famous for her intricate, geometric mural art scenes which decorate the walls of the many cities. As some of the most well-known mural art in the world, Maya Hayuk mural work showcases the artist’s desire to challenge herself and go beyond her comfort zone to experience new ways of approaching street art and the creative process. A first-generation American living in Maryland, Maya did not always fit into her cookie-cut Baltimore suburb. She describes her childhood years as somewhat alienating as her fetish for drawing and creativity did not sync with the kids in her neighborhood or school. After finding a group of like-minded creatives, Hayuk was able to grow boldly without worrying about what others thought. It was the realization that she could be who she wanted to be that spring boarded Maya Hayuk graffiti.
An Educated Artist
Maya Hayuk is perhaps different from many street artists in the emphasis she places on formal education. Hayuk received her BFA in Interrelated Media from Massachusetts College of Art; however, her studies have not ceased as she has continued to participate in programs at V.C.U., Richmond, VA, Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, Canada, the University of Odessa, Odessa, Ukraine and at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, Maine. While this wealth of knowledge has greatly contributed to her technique, Maya’s most transformative experience occurred when she moved to San Francisco. The mural art and the boldness of the artists who created them outside of the law and the galleries challenged her to pursue her own expression in this vibrant scene. While living in San Francisco, Maya Hayuk jump started her mural art career at the same time the street art renaissance was occurring. Within a short amount of time, Maya Hayuk mural work gained both notoriety and the ability to create street art within the bounds of the law. Suddenly, the world opened to the amount of possibilities available to this bold new street artist.
Maya Hayuk Artwork Collaborations
Maya Hayuk has leaned heavily into street art as fine art, exhibiting in gallery openings across the world. Maya Hayuk gallery openings have been featured at The Hammer Museum, LA (2013), The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, Canada (2013), Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, The Netherlands (2012) to name a few. The well-rounded muralist often collaborates with fellow creators, leading to her involvement with the Barnstormers Collective, the Cinder Arts Collective, and numerous collaborations with street artists spanning various media.
“Collaborations can free you up and push you forward in ways that working alone might not do. You are forced to become a better listener and think more about the big picture than what your personal ego may drive you to do.”
Album covers, videos, stage sets, photographs and posters have all featured the graffiti art style of Maya Hayuk artwork in association with big names such as The Flaming Lips, Devendra Banhardt, Seun Kuti, Prefuse 73, Awesome Color. Those who view artwork by Maya Hayuk understand that it is her unique style which makes her work so special.
The Style of Maya Hayuk Murals & Art
To learn about Maya Hayuk mural art is to learn that the street artist never knows what her mural art will be before she starts. Often, her best work is inspired as she creates, sometimes working all through the night. Without planning, Hayuk utilizes house paint and rollers and muscles her way into a beautiful and spontaneous mural. She never completes a day’s work without feeling as if the mural could be finished in its current state, but at the same time, she never knows how far she can push it before its done. Maya Hayuk artwork can only be described as inspired as the muralist has gleaned from her extensive education to produce the highly abstract, geometric works which utilize a broad range of colors harmoniously and stitch together symmetrical patterns which appeal to the viewers in a way that excites and inspires. Her work leans into the psychedelic aspect of color as it trips the viewer into another mental plane. She utilizes the surroundings of the mural art scene to enhance the creation and add to its inspiration. Hayuk explains her inspiration as
“the colours of a coral reef, outer space, positive energy, power-shapes and repeating geometry; what I would like to wear that doesn’t exist in the world. I listen to a lot of music while I work, there are a lot of repeating patterns in my art and in music. I also found it exciting to help create an object that empowers the person holding or carrying it. I do believe in this kind of magic.”
In short, Hayuk never ceases to pull from resources to enrich her works.
The single-handed accomplishments of Hayuk have been astounding. In 2005, she revealed the finished project, This Wall Could Be Your Life, an extensive 7-year, self-funded muralization of the walls of Monster Island christened with a paint pour off event from a building top. She is only the third woman to have painted the Bowery Wall. As an author, she has published the books JUST GOOD VIBES and ROUND THE WAY as well as publishing many of her screen prints. Hayuk has even participated in her own TED talk, outlining her journey through the life of a street artist.
Future of Maya Hayuk Mural Work
Though born in Baltimore, Hayuk lovingly calls Brooklyn her home, where she maintains a studio practice. The muralist has described the relationship between her studio and mural art as symbiotic, each helping the other. She continues to make murals as well as traditional art such as her recycled solar panel paintings. One of her larger recent works has been the muraling of the cultural center in Green Lake, Mongolia. Hayuk continues to push her boundaries, the formula that has allowed her to create and compile a resume of extensive and groundbreaking work. There is no telling what this artist will bring to the table next.