Beyond the Bio is a series that takes you past the canvas and into the minds of the artists and curators who build the contemporary arts community.

3D mixed media artist Mick Whitcomb will be featured at Art City Austin: Art Alliance Austin’s 3-day art fair from March 31st – April 2nd at the Palmer Events Center.

Artist: Mick Whitcomb, Missouri

Primary medium3D Mixed Media

Why do you make art?

My work is entirely motivated by the found objects that each piece is based off of.  Prior to converting these things into light fixtures I had always collected and appreciated the great innovations of the 19th century.  The progression of Victorian age manual machines and the advent of electric lighting have always been fascinating to me, and by merging the two I am able to bring renewed function to history’s most significant innovations.

Tell us more about your medium.

I tend to be more drawn to three-dimensional works of art, and as my interests in fine art stemmed from my history as a collector, incorporating both found objects and new materials are a necessary part in converting each piece.

How long have you been an artist and how has your practice changed over time?

I have been a furniture designer for seven years but I have become more focused in lighting over the past four.

What are you working on right now?

I have recently been exploring larger, more sculptural pieces out of large machines such as: grand balances, printing presses, and physics equipment that allow me to reach a wider price range as well as create architectural installations.

Why make the journey to Austin?

Austin has built a reputation for being one of the most style forward cities in America.  We pride ourselves in being progressive, and widening the field of fine art.  Austin seems to be a great market to embrace these less traditional forms of artwork.

Mick Whitcomb is a Missouri based artist who specializes in one-of-a-kind furniture and lighting made from architectural and industrial salvage.  Mick and his wife Paige travel the world sourcing unique materials for their locally made “Artifacts” line.   Fixated on the American machine age and the advent of electric lighting, Mick converts 19th century machines and instruments into utilitarian art.  By conserving the artifacts, and using reproduction hardware such as brass sockets, and lighting technologies that would have been true to the turn of the century, Mick creates light fixtures from innovative, yet obsolete machines of the past.  Each piece has been personally re-discovered, re-worked, and re-imagined to bring renewed function to a past generation of machines.

Keep up with Mick on his website.

Beyond the Bio is curated by Art Alliance Austin, with the assistance of Scott Nyerges.