I see each of my paintings as a dense collection of layered missteps guided by a single underlying intention. I generally aim for an ideal balance of aesthetically pleasurable and visibly roughened, anchored by recurring themes of nostalgia, my own existential anxieties and the corruption of human memory. In most of my work, I’m attempting a semi-realistic interpretation of an imagined environment, employing realism and abstraction in a way that gives the impression of a scene on the verge of collapse. The photographic source material I use serves as both a jumping off point and something to fight against. While working, I’m constantly making sure to glean from the source only that which resonates with me and dispose of the rest so as to avoid slavish depiction. The result is a faint echo or a total reconstruction of what is observed. I see this process as a form of self-examination – the end product’s value lying in the thoughts, emotions and memories I’ve projected onto the objective source.
My sources include both photographs I’ve taken and found imagery, used individually or combined into collages using Photoshop that I then reinterpret through paint. I’ve also built small-scale models for some interiors – something I’ve had a lifelong fascination with and that lends a scene more realism than a digital collage may allow for. I currently paint mostly with oil and occasionally oil pencil – applying the paint with all kinds of brushes and a variety of squeegees for blending and mark making. I also use masking tape to pull up paint and cut Scotch tape for edge definition and masking.
Mike was born in New Haven, CT and grew up in a very unremarkable, middle-class New England neighborhood in Wallingford, CT – a very unremarkable, middle-class New England town. He attended Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA in 2002, where he gravitated toward no one teacher in particular, participated only in mandatory exhibitions and barely scraped by due to mounting absences. After graduating in 2006 with a BFA in Illustration, he soon decided that Illustration wasn’t for him. Mike lives and works as a painter and designer in Wellesley, MA with his girlfriend Liz and their rotund and lovable cat Izzy. One has been consistently supportive of his artistic pursuits and the other has consistently whined for food and woken him up every morning with her incessant meowing. He is currently represented by 13Forest Gallery in Arlington, MA.