While its name spoofs art movements in general, Michael Albert has taken his brand of “cerealism” quite seriously.
The White Plains artist, who has become known for his cereal box collages, started with a Frosted Flakes box back in 1996 entitled “Portrait of an American Classic” and has built a body of work that includes collages of as many brands of products as he is able to complete.
“The way Monet created a series of paintings of flowers—the same scene painted in many different ways—inspired me, and I’ve made collages of hundreds of cereal boxes,” Albert said.
His unique take on re-purposing materials into pop-culture collages has provided an outlet of artistic expression for the 45-year-old businessman and father of four, who said he does art whenever he finds the time.
“I do not believe in wasting down time and I also do not like throwing out perfectly good materials,” he said. “So I do art every day and work in an art form that allows me me to create works using everything from junk mail to old photos, cereal boxes, stickers, and things around the house.”
He has also made collages around other themes including maps, flags, the Gettysburg Address, the Declaration of Independence, the numerals in Pi and Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
While a college student at New York University studying business, Albert visited many museums in Manhattan. He said he became enchanted with the lasting legacy an artist can create.
“I began drawing, building up my work and feeling like I was doing something very worthwhile,” he said.
At the same time, Albert continued to pursue business and worked as a food distributor for many years, eventually starting his own brand of natural juices in 1993—with his original artwork on the logo—called “Sir Real Juices.” The popular natural juice line is now sold in stores like Fairway, Whole Foods and D’Agastinos.
Albert’s work has been on display at the since last December and this month he has refreshed much of the exhibition with new pieces for "Pop Cubism and Epic Works,” that will be shown through April 30. He will give a gallery talk on Saturday, March 17, where he will also sign his book, “An Artist’s America.”
And his “modern pop art show” can be seen on the walls of seven Cosi restaurants in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The artist has traveled all over the country—to libraries, schools and museums, introducing his art form to wider audiences by holding workshops and talks. A hands-on collage workshop for children in first through sixth grade will take place at the White Plains Library on Sunday, April 1 and another on April 22 in honor of Earth Day.
As Michael Albert works on his next art project, a line of greeting cards, he is inspired by the spring in White Plains. “I am also working on collages of flowers and trees and things in nature,” he said.
“I love White Plains—being in the suburbs and being so close to New York City culture—it has the best of both worlds.”
Museum Gallery hours are 10 AM - 9 PM, Monday and Wednesday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday, and 1 p.m.–5 p.m., Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Library is located at 100 Martine Avenue, White Plains. For more information on the artist; his future appearances and exhibitions, visit www.cerealism.com.