Midwest vs West Art Exhibition – Artist Portfolio Magazine
Michael Allyn Roy – Pasadena, CA
I. Mythological portraits.
I paint the stories that I find in my own snapshots of friends and family. Snapshots have a rude, oracular quality unlike any other visual media. They promise a story just beyond the frame, recalling and embellishing vanities, victories and unintended consequences colliding with the chaos of the world.
The universality of the snapshot offers a pinhole view into something both familiar and embarrassing; like seeing your parent naked. It’s a small step to overlay mythopoetic meaning onto snapshots, metamorphosising ordinary moments into archetypical drama. In the metaphysics of my paintings suburban quarrelsome parents become the ur-parents Hera and Zeus; a graceful girl sheathed in plastic is transformed into a magical River Nymph.
In my work the physicality of the painted surface itself–active and gestural–embodies this transformation from photograph to painting and from mythical time to the present. The surface of my paintings is inviting and luxurious, like the frosting on a cake. This sensuality is produced musically: the snapshot is the prepared score, the painting is the record of my performance of that score. I begin with a painted rhythm, a formal organization created by an impasto underpainted layer of expressive geometry. Successive passages add color, harmony, counterpoint and the conventions of illusionistic representation. The finished painting oscillates between depiction and abstraction — a melody dancing above a rhythm.
In addition to figurative work I have a long-standing interest in landscape painting. Some recent images of landscapes are included in the site. You can see these paintings by following the landscapes link.
III. September 11, 2001 Memorial
In 2003 l designed a memorial proposal, The Waterknot, for the World Trade Center site. The memorial design lead to a long-term, on-going project to create a monoprint for each life lost on September 11, 2001. A portion of the monoprint project was exhibited at Smyth gallery in Pasadena, California in 2006 and is available for viewing on this site under the link Monoprints. For more about the project select the link WTC Memorial.
Jennifer Anttila – Renton, WA
Clare Olivares – Oakland, CA
For many years I was employed in scientific research labs – analyzing bubble chamber film, organizing international science conferences, working with biologists studying species adaptation to climate change. I also worked in religious settings where spiritual belief was strongly held by my colleagues. These experiences have shaped the way I view the world and my artwork. With a nod to both scientific knowledge and universal mysteries, my paintings and mixed media pieces straddle the line between the known and the unknown.
I’m interested in the natural world – how it works, how we observe it, what is unknown and why. My paintings ask viewers to pay attention and to quietly bear witness to the natural world. Drawing on both the scientific observable world and the spiritual world I shape my paintings to convey wonder and mystery. I’m not interested in painting catastrophic change; no melting ice caps, severe storms, or cataclysmic meteor collisions. Rather my paintings investigate change and revelation through subtlety – the eerie light through trees, over–colored skies, ominous clouds and acrid colored streams. Combining the natural world with supernaturalism infuses my work.
Astronomers have a saying to describe their discoveries – “pulling back the curtain.” Artists, scientists and believers all seek to pull back the curtain to gain a better understanding of universal truths. We’re not different in our desires we just use different tools.