Michael (b. 1972) is a Tribeca-based artist and New York native, whose paintings combine classical subjects, dream narratives and mythical motifs.
After receiving a joint JD/MBA degree from Boston University in 1997, he practiced corporate law for two years followed by a twelve year career as a trader on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2011, Michael left the financial industry to embrace a persistent voice that first emerged after an undergraduate elective drawing course at Binghamton University matured into a BA in Studio Painting, his second degree to accompany a BA in Philosophy of Law, Business and Ethics.
In the summer of 2011, Michael attended a drawing marathon at the New York Studio School which grew into a year’s study in the atelier of Dean Graham Nickson’s Certificate Program. Here, he began to understand what was always pulling him to painting; its unique capability, when executed and viewed as a metaphorical language, to convey deep meaning.
Michael subsequently pursued a self-constructed, informal education. Ophrah Shemesh, a painter and teacher he met at the New York Studio School would become his first direct influence by revealing and instilling in Michael a classical approach to oil painting while continuing to cultivate his growth as an artist. In 2013, Shemesh introduced him to gallerist, author, poet and curator Mario Diacono, who would simultaneously mentor Michael in his development.
Michael is a contemporary painter, though his underpainting technique and use of dry pigments demonstrates his preference for historical methods. Drawing inspiration from literature, life experience and careful observation, Michael reflects on these stimuli as they inhabit his conscious and unconscious worlds. His commitment to the idea that mythology, dreams and art often operate under the same language system, is the driving force behind his choice to engage mythology and dreams in his present work. By delivering archetypal messages through veiled truths, each serves important pedagogical functions.
For his series entitled “Metamorphoses, Dreams”, “the result” said Mario Diacono, “is a private, constructionist language, both contemporary and classical, whose content contains the history of the image, the idea of memory, and reveals how the contemporary mind has these classical images in him already”.
With his current series entitled “My New York: a Mythology”, Michael invites the viewer to experience New York as he imagines it at a threshold of transformation. The mythology and symbolism represented suggest a city with a fractured identity. These paintings aspire not only to elicit moral enquiry, but to inspire the socially conscious to participate in a collective adventure.
“Machines of Paint and Other Materials” 2016, curated by Jennifer Riley, 72 Front Street, Brooklyn NY