Born of a preoccupation with “looking”, a subdued mania for
collections, and an integral desire to arrange groups of things- I work
in collage. I like the playfulness of its unassembled elements, the
immediacy of its potential to create associative content, the element of
chance and discovery in the process of mining thousands of images from
source material. Appearing first as subtle details within principally
non-representational paintings and drawings, collaged elements were once
a punctuation mark in the midst of a language of oil and graphite.
Steadily these punctuations multiplied and the painterly abstraction
atrophied, culminating in collage emerging my primary visual language.
Currently, the work falls into two parallel bodies. First, smaller
collages: eight-inch squares, works-on-paper. These provide a uniformity
of scale and format for nurturing a continued distillation of formalist
compositions. Second, anything larger (potentially fifteen feet in one
direction): predominantly collage, often juxtaposed against color fields
of various media; the provision here being an unbounded freedom of
individualized response within a given piece (inclusive of the
conjunctive exploration of color field painting). Both bodies are in
production simultaneously, congruently. They inform one another. My
approach is process-oriented; each piece’s preceding choices dictate its
subsequent needs. The running thematic thread is “everything is only
what is next to it”. My palette is gathered from printed media,
unaltered beyond removal of its embedded periphery. Cutting and pasting,
imagery is recycled, repurposed, re-contextualized. Equal time is spent
collecting, selecting, eliminating, and assembling materials.
Works are conceptual, loosely allegorical vignettes that tend toward
being open-ended meditations upon and conversations with the world. My
intention is not to make conclusive thematic statements but to develop
an expansive impression about a primarily private dialogue while
simultaneously providing a significant visual basis for personal
relationship within the viewer and maintaining a sense of play.
My ceramic teapots and vessels are comprised of wheel
thrown then altered components which often take on a playful animated
biomorphic personality. Many have developed a haughty attitude.
This body of work is greatly influenced by my fascination with subtle
movement. My many studio windows open to an active lakeside landscape
-- one of the many rewards of living in Atlanta. Daily I view vegetation
reaching upwards, the heads of flowers turning slowly to follow the
sun’s path. Numerous bird feeders outside my studio windows are the
meeting place for a variety of aviary visitors. It is here I observe
their heads cocked, listening for warnings, greetings and mating calls.
This observed behavior has resulted in a humanization to the long necks
of my vessels, as well as the spouts and handles of my teapots.
My home studio is the perfect incubator to create these biomorphic
vessels. Here a traditionally wheel thrown porcelain silhouette might be
grafted with a bulbous appendage inspired by land-water-air iconology.
What you observe as my trademark surface embellishment – stippling, slip
trailing, and sgraffitto I interpret as the vessels epidermis. The
skins not only encase and protect, but lure the viewer to their tactile
surface. My early exploration into such techniques as previously
described was piqued by my fascination with Hob Nail Milk glass and,
oddly enough, peanut shells.
Sheila Pree Bright
The Millennial better known as Generation Y, born in or after 1982 in the 20th century are the most inﬂuential generation since the baby boomers. Market research suggests Generation Y who is in there mid 20s and younger are civic-minded and socially conscious as individual consumers and employees. They have been pressed for their vote, sought for their purchasing power and watch closely by sociologists and historians for insight into the way this generation will shape the future. As a group, they are unlike any other youth generation. They are more aﬄuent, better educated, technologically savvy, blunt and expressive, image driven and the most ethnically diverse. This is a rising generation who has grown up on the war on terror and the 1st Gulf war who will be the next leaders to run this country.
In Young Americans I am investigating Generation Y thoughts and feelings about America giving them a platform for their voice to be heard thru portraiture between the ages of 18 to 25 . I chose to use the American Flag as part of their apparel, because it represents liberty, freedom and pride in this country. Before they come to my studio each individual was asked to think about how
they would see themselves with the American Flag. Once they arrive at the studio we would sit down and talk about America and then shortly after they would write a written statement. Once they ﬁnish we began the shoot. What I have experience as the observer/photographer is that this diverse generation is much more aware of the world because of the national tragedies such
as 9/11 terrorist attacks and the immigrant issues which have given them their own brand of social consciousness.
It was Jasper Johns who said, “When I use something, I like to do something else with it; do something else with it, do something else with it and do something else with it.” The statement by Mr. Johns really describes me and my art work.
It’s funny how those things that are etched into our psyche while young have a way of working themselves out as we age. Throughout my artistic journey, the tie has been more than just a recurring motif and icon. It has been foundational for the work that I have produced, and who I am as artist, husband, educator, father and friend. Transformed from a symbol of powerlessness to a symbol of strength, it represents my beliefs in change, my sense of a more connected community, and even my faith in a higher power.
Additionally my artistic journey has paralleled my personal sojourn to become wiser, find truth and search for pure expression.
While evolving from a more expressionistic place to one of abstraction, the tie has also evolved. Since 1992, I have deeply explored the interplay between color and music, particularly influenced by the musical art forms born out of African American culture: such as jazz, blues, rap, and gospel.
In the new body of work “Fragments of Frozen Sound” started in 2005 the works make use of various shape and form of scatter debris from Hurricane Katrina and September 11, two events that changed our lives forever. On September 11, 2011 I was scheduled to be in New York that day looking at galleries with a friend, Eric Mack for some reason I did not go. Eric and Bill Stephens another friend took a picture of little boy holding a pieces of steel and tar paper, it was then I started work on metal and tar paper as my protest against 911. As far as Hurricane Katrina I had spent a lot of time there with friends and family. This is when I started the process of mapping. These pieces take on their own nature in culture just like the city of New Orleans. This catastrophe like slavery and lynching brought us together as well as made us stronger piece by piece. Each piece is carefully constructed in unusually ways that emphasis musical compositions that becomes sound boards of human experience with color and pattern that move and grove to its own beat. The ripples in the texture represent the roads we travel. . Each shape in every works is emphasized by using the technique mapping.
I am interested in the unnerving possibility of multiple meanings, dual
perceptions, and limitlessness in the seemingly binary. Drawing objects
repeatedly allows me to fully understand the object in space, while
defining and redefining my own racial landscape.
identity, for me, has neither been instantly formed nor conjured in
isolation. Rather, identity entangles memory: actual and revisited,
cultural and historical, individual and collective. Through the
dissolution of dichotomies and the combination of objects, this work
recalls for me moments in the formation of my racial identity as Black
and Biracial. And each re-worked mark is another attempt to navigate the
binary paradigm of race in the U.S. South by grasping invisible
limitations and grounding myself within the collective African American
The age of information in physical form is waning. As intangible routes thrive with quicker fluidity, material and history are being lost, slipping and eroding into the ether. Newer media swiftly flips forms, unrestricted by the weight of material and the responsibility of history. In the tangible world we are left with a frozen material but in the intangible world we may be left with nothing. History is lost as formats change from physical stability to digital distress.
The richness and depth of the book is universally respected yet often undiscovered as the monopoly of the form and relevance of the information fades over time. The book’s intended function has decreased and the form remains linear in a non-linear world. By altering physical forms of information and shifting preconceived functions, new and unexpected roles emerge. This is the area I currently operate in. Through meticulous excavation or concise alteration I edit or dissect communicative objects or systems such as books, maps, tapes and other media. The medium’s role transforms. Its content is recontextualized and new meanings or interpretations emerge.
In this piece, I looked up a single word in a 1992 revised edition of Webster's Thesaurus and then the corresponding synonyms and so on through 5 phases. Over 2600 words construct this radial chart that has a potential to grow infinitely. Each word and line in the chart was entered and drawn individually. Words that have already emerged in a previous phase or definition become red, suggesting that the definition bounces back on itself in a perpetual loop and doesn't continue to grow in a outward direction. Words that are within a word's definition but are not in the book when looked up become black and die out. Words found in the book when searched become blue and continue to grow out into infinite branches. This piece attempts to create order from chaos while exposing a framework of multiple routes and meanings that echo the structures and possibilities within hyperlinks on the Internet and within our own thought patterns and memory associations.
From 2002 until late 2007 I made drawings, paintings, multiples, performances and audio works based on the failed 1984 movie Supergirl. I saw the movie once.
I have now organized my studio practice around the play Timon of Athens, written by William Shakespeare between 1605 and 1608. It is considered to be Shakespeare’s most difficult work—probably unfinished-- and is the only one of his plays not performed in his lifetime. I chose a “failed” work not because I have any interest in abject themes, but because its obscurity creates uninhabited bandwidth within culture that I can occupy without incident.
I am proceeding through the cast of characters listed in the dramatis personae beginning with the minor characters. For each character I produce a distinct body of work based on contemporary associations suggested by that character. The final result will be a collection of related works comprised of separately considered parts. Any combination of characters can be exhibited together at any time so that the exhibition environment becomes a “stage” wherein the characters must visually and conceptually interact. An unexpected parallel trait of this project is that by inhabiting the different characters, I am also permitted an exploration of contemporary painting’s heterogeneous practices under the canopy of one overriding idea. I do not overdetermine the work in advance, in hopes that my own artistic subjectivity will respond to the challenge of continually developing new artwork within the defined parameters of an existing literary structure.
I have begun creating work for the following characters: Mistress, Flattering Lords. The Masquers, Old Athenian, Painter, and Several Servants. In addition I make larger Timon of Athens paintings that are meant to serve as “broadsheets” announcing the play, while giving hints to the individual characters.
Timon of Athens is a corrupted text, of indeterminate history, questionable sources, and a dubious relationship to the respected canon. That is to say, it mirrors my own position within the art world perfectly.
Taking a page from Charles Bukowski and a line from Tom Waits, this work delves into a narrative, which has its roots in the everyman, addressing aspects of the underbelly of society, with characters on the fringes of culture. Inspired aesthetically by Japanese and European film noir of the 50’s and 60’s, these narratives explore the moments of intrigue when the fabric of mundane existence is torn away. Through a set of threatening or inexplicable encounters, the characters and their counterparts move though an urban landscape, participants in an ambiguous narrative and caught in the moments of pause between action and reaction.
Using a cinematic format, these pieces reference the film noir and comic books that inspire them. The enigmatic relationship between juxtaposing spatial elements and the narrative figure is explored, using the urban landscape as both setting and aesthetic component. These atmospheric portrayals describe scenes where the characters and their environs are caught in the fabric of a flash fiction.
This most current work uses a spray paint stencil technique for the figures that is rooted in graffiti, but made exceptionally more complex, incorporating up to seven unique stenciled layers to create a multi-tonal effect. These figures are combined with cut vinyl environments, both to take advantage of differing surface textures and to define and isolate the figure within its architectural surrounds. The vinyl and enamel spray paint are grounded on a field of roughed silver leaf which conceptually connects the work to its photographic roots, suggesting a deteriorated nitrate film, tin type or aging silver print.
Poetically depicting the nature of human thought, my paintings investigate impermanence, the invisible, and abstraction. Delicate, complex, ephemeral spaces “in between,” are curiosities driving my work. “Formlessness” is, in as sense, my subject, as I imagine and visualize space unseen as humans negotiate time and space. A fusion of structured and organic shapes derivative of architecture and microscopic material form the visual language I use to fabricate an image of seemingly empty space. Each painting organically grows, as marks, shapes, and colors are layered through an improvisational process.
Working through intuition threads my practice. I trust painting as a form of non-linguistic thinking. As a process driven painter, content develops through engagement with materials; work comes out of the work organically. Minimally preplanned, each painting unfolds through time. I navigate a painting in terms of qualitative relationships and rely on a visceral response to marks before an intellectual one. In this way, my work is grounded in phenomenology, or the study of how we experience the world. We experience the world by way of our senses. An initial sensuous experience opens a path to understanding things in themselves. Working out an experience visually and tactilely in a painting, I negotiate formal qualities to construct new visual metaphors.
A Requiem in the Garden
In A Requiem in the Garden, layers of
shredded cemetery flowers create a poignant and solemn visual chanting.
This visceral installation symbolically re-creates the artist’s
grandmother’s lost garden.
Courtesy Get This! Gallery
The collaborative spirit behind TindelMichi is a shared desire to pay
tribute to our southern upbringing.The imagery in the paintings are
iconographic representations of a new south. Infused with southern charm
and regional humor, the paintings tell great stories of Southern culture
past and present.
Courtesy Barbara Archer Gallery
Michael David Murphy
My photographs are confirmation of everything I don't know, that life is a sequence of surprises, and that sharing these small miracles isn't art's only draw, but at the end of the day, it might be just enough to get you through.
Only a child has the ability to create a new and exciting world out of a single object. The combination of an incorrupt point of view, strong imagination, overflowing curiosity, and the desire to push boundaries make for a very special environment exclusive to the child and their playmates.
This is the way we all perceived life once. In the grownup world, our formerly infinite imagination is restrained by arrangements and circumstances. People often have to live among others with different viewpoints and ways of expressing themselves. As we grow up, society puts limits on the way an individual might perceive things. Being an artist, I am lucky to take the position of a “creator”, but I still feel the pressures of the adult life, imposing boundary after boundary. I seek a sort of regression to a childlike state of mind so that I can create in a place beyond these boundaries. More recently, I use this theme while addressing the instinctive, darker emotions that dwell within people of all ages.
Celestial Bodies is a body of work that explores relationships in my immediate family. The philosophy of the work is one in which deeper self-awareness comes through examining cause and effect. The idea is that one becomes who we are as it relates to those closest to us, your family. I’ve used science and certain laws of physics as a metaphor to explore the ideas of cause and effect, hence the title Celestial Bodies. The majority of the work is portrait based which mostly includes old family photos that I’ve re-contextualized. Embedded into the family photos are diagrams that explore gravity, centrifugal force and magnetic fields. The individual is reimagined as planetary; each having seen and unseen effects on one another. I thought this to be an appropriate metaphor in understanding the seen and unseen affects ones family has on an individual. In my research I discovered that Jupiter because of its massive size has a gravitational pull so strong it prevents earth from being bombarded with asteroids every day. This phenomenon best describes the ideas I am exploring regardless of ones distance or separation from family. When all is stripped bare ones orbit is positively and negatively affected by the coordinates and physics of ones family life.
Michael Reese, a native New Yorker arrived in Atlanta in 1990. He studied photography and art history at the Atlanta College of Art receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1996. His work is primarily photo-based and conceptual in nature.
In my current
body of work I am pouring a liquid graphite preparation onto a
non-porous surface, letting the black material skate across the surface
untouched. I am using the same forces that shaped the earth - gravity,
fluid dynamics, sedimentation, and erosion - to shape my imagery. I
restrain parts of the organic flow through architectural interventions
specifically meant to draw attention to the discrepancy between the
natural physical properties of the earth-based material and the forms of
control, both physical and mental, that humans routinely superimpose
over nature. The creation of the graphite ground is an exercise in
giving up control, letting nature take its course. My interventions
allude to human efforts to understand, classify, and mentally subdue
those acts of nature.
My use of graphite in these
works speaks to both the arts and the sciences; it simultaneously
references the artistic practice of drawing, vast geologic processes,
and the carbon-base of all life forms. Semiotics, science, and Buddhist
philosophy are all source materials for the work, which is a further
exploration into insights gained during my years practicing Vipassana
meditation. Through this practice I became aware of a break between the
physical world and my mental perceptions of that world. I was able to
experience the physical without attaching emotional or mental constructs
to it - to separate the sensation of an itch from the urge to scratch
The pouring of these works
also allows me to experience vast geologic processes on a more intimate
scale. It is my way of participating in this humbling immensity, a way
to hold a small piece in my hand. It is akin to the Tao’s world found in
a blade of grass. It is Joan Didion’s sense of belonging and purpose in
How our identities are constructed has become increasingly complex by the systemic spatial coexistence “in between” virtual and physical migrations. On the Edge of Self depicts a shared moment of choice – to stay or leave - between actors, Penny Aviles and Paul Gyori. No decision is revealed, no destination or place reached. One place does not leave the realm of influence as another, and a multiplicity of virtual others, continue a cycle where constructed fictions and reality are permeable and interchangeable.
"On the Edge of Self" - single channel director cut
These works come from an exhibition
entitled Terminal Velocity held in
2012 at the Museum of Contemporary Art – GA. As the title implies, the work
explores both fixed points (place) and mobility. The medium of choice is rubber— rubber from
worn inner tubes revealing a patina from the wear and tear of the distances
travelled between places.
The large panels forming Interchange serve to condense Atlanta’s major
intestate intersections (e.g I-285 & I-85, I-20 & I-285 into graphic
representations of the angle of those interchanges.
The Metronesian Stick Chart is constructed of mimosa wood and
inner-tubes with each valve representing an exit along Atlanta’s interstate
system (Shown here with east at the top.) The name references Micronesian stick charts which are
handheld wood and seashell constructions that depict wave swells and water
currents for use as nautical routes on insturctional charts of the
Influenced by animist objects I
encountered while living in West Africa in my twenties, the Fetish Series is an attempt to
understand the burden of place— to reconcile the conflicted sentiments of
revered sites. The wood for each piece was collected from a specific location
that holds personal meaning (e.g. my
ancestral home-place, various neighborhoods I have lived, the forest where a friend died). After formed into an X, the wood was bound
and protected by layers of rubber, some were further impaled with nails.
The Monument Series serves as an
exploration of monuments and their ability to mark place. In this case, perhaps
“placeiness” is a better term (as in Stephen Colbert’s “truthiness”). By making them portable, their
authoritativeness and effectiveness has been significantly diminished while
increasing their ability to mark numerous places quickly (although only
temporarily). This one, entitled The Courier, seems especially
appropriate residing in the airport.