Michael Reece: Artist Statement

In 2010, I began painting again after a 30-year hiatus. The subject matter that initially inspired me to once again “pick up the brush” was vintage local signage – reminders of my youth as well as a nod to my years as a commercial artist.

As my work evolved, I began to experiment by including photo transfers into my paintings, at first with elements of signage, then to various manufactured patterns, textures, and miscellaneous man-made visuals: steel rods, grates, even graffiti, in many instances taking what would be representational subject matter and rendering it as non-objective.

Concurrent with these paintings, I embarked on a group of pieces that were textural explorations using materials of an industrial/construction nature – gypsum board, joint compound, and various metals re-purposed from salvage yards and junk stores.

The next phase of my artistic odyssey came in the form of a series of works that were in stark contrast to the free-form, looser nature of either the photo transfer paintings or the textural explorations. Completely non-representational, these pieces are more intricate in nature, more mannered, more controlled. Often employing metallic paints as a foil for the matte surfaces, the works transform as they interact with light. The process of creating the repeated rectangular markings was meditative for me as an artist, and was designed to be equally meditative for the viewer to experience.

If there is a common thread that appears throughout my journey as an artist over the last several years, it would be the willingness and joy in switching genres of art, not getting too comfortable in one arena, and finding new and exciting ways to express myself along the way.