Category: healing arts

Braska showing some love in front of my largest singular painting to date, “Astranomelly.” Acrylic on canvas. 78in x 120in. Original and prints available.
Commencing upon the precipice of homelessness, “The Boy In The Box” collection follows the rigid geometric structuring of the “The Up-Side Of Down” and represents the perpetual quest for personal freedom and breaking outside of the box.

“Astranomelly” was the culminating piece of my artist residency in Downtown San Diego. During the months of April/May (2012) I spent 50 days painting on Broadway Avenue, generally averaging 10-12 hours per session and never taking a single day off. Basically living in the studio as I found myself on the precipice of homelessness, this climactic creation measures 6.5′ x 10′ and is representative of my collective experiences as “The Boy In The Box.” The culture shock of the residency experience made this both an artistic opportunity and a sociological experiment as I found myself imbued with the regionalism of this foreign community and was indoctrinated into their culture. The individuals that visited and shared their stories during my tenure in the box were all incorporated into the painting, their names inscribed in the underpainting that surrounds the iconic vortex (or black hole) that is simultaneously a symbol of the outward eyes looking in at me as I poured my soul into the canvas. The concept for “Astranomelly” came to me on a car ride home at 3:30am as I listened to the track “Battling the Sun” by local musician Astra Kelly. I had met Astra earlier that evening when she stopped in during a rare San Diego storm. The rest of the story I now leave with you.

-Michael Carini 

More from Carini Arts including canvas prints of this painting, jewelry, hoodies, shirts, jerseys, leggings, and even custom blankets at

Small #MostlyForHer paintings available or you can request your favorite poem & color scheme for a custom commission. Message me to get yours.

More cool stuff at

“Reconstruction Of the Chimera (Zachericle).” Acrylic, ashes, and cut painting on canvas. Original is 60in x 60in.

“Reconstruction of the Chimera (Zachericle)” tells the story of the mythological phoenix while also incorporating personal narrative elements and concepts of the ouroboros & chimera. Created during my 2012 artist residency, it was inspired by a young man named Zach. Zach would stop by on a daily basis to grab a piece of candy from the bucket I left by the door for those passing by. One day, Zach decided to step in a little further than usual which led to a deeper conversation. I handed Zach a print of my work for stopping by, at which point tears welled up in his eyes. It was at that time that Zach told me he had been living on the street and was just accepted into a program where he would have a bed to sleep for the first time in a long time. My print, he said, was one of the only things in his possession that he could call his own, and the first thing for him to hang above his bed. By the time I finished this painting, Zach had stopped coming by. I don’t believe he ever saw it and hopefully that’s because he’s doing well. Sometimes we just need a chance to start over.

The ashes in this piece are from a painting I burned titled “The Transmutation of Miss-Tere” and the cut fragments are from a piece titled “Sacrifices and Second Chances (The Day Eye Made The Devil Blink).”

You can get prints of this painting at and you can also check out some of my YouTube content showing me sacrificing the painting used to create and give birth to this story.

-Michael Carini

Up close and personal as I finish up my latest painting in the studio focusing on mental health and depression. This piece is available. Message me for inquiries.
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Michael Carini | Work In Progress

“If I Die Today (Jack The Ripper).” Acrylic on panel. 48in x 24in. Visit for prints of this painting. This was one of the very first paintings from the collection of works I did immediately following my assault and battery and reflects upon facing death.

“The Up-Side of Down” series was inspired by a 2009 assault and battery that hospitalized me with multiple facial fractures, severe eye trauma, and a concussion. My signature icon, which I saw flashing in my head during the concussive state, is a key repeating element in this series that represents life growing from death and discovering the positives in negatives.


Keep your head up, Love. Life is written in the scars.

A closer look behind the paint. Everything you see me do is available and your support directly supports a starving artist. If something catches your eye, message me. You can also visit to check out my shop, blog, and podcast. Here are two of my recent originals.

Pink: When Nobody Else Would Love Me (I Had To Learn To Love Myself)

Blue: .38 With A .38 (The Speed Of Eternal Stillness)

Michael Carini | LEARN MORE

I love doing emotionally supercharged paintings but sometimes it’s nice to break free and do something a little more lighthearted because some days it just feels like my brain is going to break. “Swerlz” was one of those pieces and you head over to you can get affordable canvas prints of this painting. I’m also taking on commissions. Message me.