Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Interview with Michael Page

After going to see Michael's exhibit at Varnish Fine Art last month, I wanted to know more about the guy behind the paintings. Here's our conversation.

A little about Michael Page:

Ever closer to mirroring our daily anxieties the response has grown more acute. I now try and recapture feelings I once had, in search of something more introspective and provocative. I believe everyone at one point in their life realizes that there is a dark and beautiful side to them. Thrown before an audience, it is up to each person to explore which path they’ll take and ultimately how they’ll interpret my work. We all live from moment to moment. And so too do my paintings. Inherently, my art exploits this anxiety and unveils the beauty within the dark side of me.

When I saw your exhibit at Varnish, these periods came to mind: Gothic and New Realism, along with an Asian influence. Do any of these seem relevant? What periods of art history most interests you?

Yes, I do very much enjoy Gothic art and so I can see how that may play some type of roll into my work. What I really enjoy is the Renaissance period. So many amazing paintings and you have Bosch. I also do enjoy all of the Realisms, so many influentional artist throughout time in all of those categories.

In your bio, you say, " I paint from instinct. From my unconscious mind to my hands, I give meaning to these oddities and otherwise voiceless beings." Where do the bugs come from in your paintings? And the masques(altered faces)? In the Varnish blurb they used the phrase "Dorian Gray-esq" to describe your paintings, do you agree?

I believe that most of the time when I paint it comes from my unconscious mind. To me that is when the best works come about. There is a conscious beginning and an end to a painting but while I am working on it I pretty much let my unconscious take over and do all the non-thinking for me. If any of that makes sense. I have taken this approach ever since I could remember.

With the bugs those are from a Thailand trip I went on and had some great bug experiences. From eating them to seeing some of the most amazing alien like creatures I have ever seen. I do agree partially with the Dorian Grey Esq. feel to a few of my paintings that I had in my last show, but I generally do not try and show that throughout my work though. But if you take that away when you view my work, that’s great I try and leave my work open to as many interpretations as possible.

You mention, in your bio, traveling in Italy. How has traveling affected your art? Have you exhibited abroad? Where would you like to next?

Yes, traveling is awesome. Italy was amazing, so many beautiful paintings. It can get a little overwhelming especially when you are trying to study the history of the art and trying to figure out your own art as well. I have had a few great shows in Iceland and I am in a group show this up coming May in Rome and Berlin in September. I would love to show anywhere and everywhere, I think Japan would be pretty amazing.

On Wikipedia, Varnish Fine Art is listed as a "Low Brow" art gallery along with White Walls and the Shooting Gallery. What do you think of the terms "Low Brow" and "High Brow?"

I really have no say either way I guess, though those are great galleries. All “Low Brow” art becomes “High Brow” and the cycle continues. Names for movements are pretty funny anyways.

What is most exciting in your life right now? What was most thrilling last year at this time? What do you think it will be next year?

Everything is really great right now for me. I just got married a few months back, I am painting everyday and just living as freely as possible. Last year I was in Thailand with a few friends on a motorcycle trip throughout the Northern region. It was a pretty amazing trip. Hopefully next year many more opportunities will open up and keep on doing what I am dong.

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