~ On October 21st, 2019, Michael was creating in the live studio setting at the Dairy Block. He began with one complete piece and myriad blank canvases, which he populated by the show date in late November.
~ He will be collaborating with a former student, Annie Decamp, in Aspen, exploring the mentor-mentee relationship.
~ In a forthcoming television show, Devils, Michael’s art will be featured as the art of one of the main characters.
~ In 2020, Michael will work on two discrete collaborative projects with Jess Davis and Tina Anthony. Expect the show with Jess to be quietly political, as she works with leather, marionettes and images of Marie Antoinette and Napoleon, which Michael will riff on. The show with Tina will be a dueling show where their work will be in conflict with one another.
Look like you’re runnin’ in place.
Michael’s process strikes a balance between his obsessive nature—exemplified by the fact that he’s worked to the soundtrack of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet daily for the past ten years—and gestures he makes towards embracing the unpredictable, the chaotic, the realm of discomfort.
His work thrives in the realm of discomfort because central to Michael’s praxis is fear of the unknown. He purposefully makes something messy and accepts the subsequent imperfections; for example, he uses erasure and sometimes even outright redaction, because “erasing is a form of mark-making. Creating a mark or a shift gives life that’s not starkly black and white.”
His approach to creating from the repository of his classical, technical Florentine education is to resist against notions of perfection by way of discomfort, the unpredictable, fear. Being scared—stepping outside of normal—is an essential element to his process, which takes him further from the system of language we are trapped in and more towards the visual.
He begins with a couple of marks that mean everything, not because of any logical explanation but that he feels the magic: “A couple marks, for some reason you love them and keep them.” He continues by looking and reacting—engaging in visual thinking. It’s a return to a childlike state where actions occur well outside of the system of logic. After all, how else can one break away from the natural image?