Michael Page has been making some dope art, trippy and unreal and overwhelming, his use of color would liquify a Crayola executive’s brain. We are super juiced to announce that he will be joining the Empty Kingdom Summer Show. Check out his interview:
Please introduce yourself. When did you wake up today? Did you feel rested?
Hi, Michael Page, 7:00 am. I have a two year old, so I am never rested.
Would you consider yourself self-aware? How would you describe your personality? What are your flaws? What are your virtues? How do these play out in your work?
Maybe a little self-aware, aren’t we all? I’m pretty easy going – tense at times when work is in progress. I’ve been told this tenseness is palpable to a flaw. I run pretty fast and my everyday life plays out into my work.
There is both a great amount and diversity of bright colors in your work as well as much chaos. Stereotypically these are depicted as facets of opposing forces, chaos being aligned with dark, bad, while bright colors, lightness, being associated with good, happiness. How do you feel about such associations? Do you feel there is a sense of balance in your work? Or are those forces even something you want or believe should be associated with what you are doing?
Sure, I haven’t looked at my work that way, but maybe it’s how I approach my pantings. I seem to battle something in each individual piece; whether it’s the colors I’ve laid down, or shapes that don’t seem to work, the conflict is there. With each painting I seem to constantly search for what may form next or what other potentials are possible. So the dark and light in that vein of working, play well together. There is a sense of balance in my eyes. I like it when people make there own interpretation of my work…with that they can associate any emotion that arises.
The names of your pieces vary from references to deities (A Dream Odin Had) to desserts (Ice Cream Melt) to nautical (Water’s End) and on. How do you come up with the names for your pieces? What do they mean to you? What do you think they will mean to the viewer?
I enjoy mythology and the various meanings behind the powerful names presented. I have included them in my life and work for years now. Each of my paintings and the names arise from everyday experiences. Also, my son’s name is Odin and we like ice cream!
Since these pieces are personal, just reading the names spark emotion and a little nostalgia. They act as a tiny time machine taking me back to the state I was in while painting a particular piece.
In addition to the name, each of the pieces on your site has the details of the camera used to take the picture. Do you take the photo yourself? Do you ever feel like the photos taken of your work change the pieces? Augment them, distort them, alter them? Every artist now must be also a photographer to one degree or another in order to get their work on the web, do you think this is something that helps? Do you take photographs for fun or as art ever?
I have a great friend that shoots all my work, and he does an amazing job shooting all sorts of artwork. The camera info on my website is outdated though…when I have a moment I’ll clean that up. I find that when I look at my work in person it has much more depth and power over to what a photo can produce. In my opinion, when you take a photograph of a painting you tend to lose some essence of the work; meaning the feeling, color, or depth change. It’s difficult for photos to do art real justice!
Who have been some influential individuals, whether artists or otherwise, for you? What have you learned from them?
Artists I have found that have had a big impact on the way I approach my work include Sri Whipple and Jason Wheatley. I shared a studio with these two incredible artists, and their process is both fascinating and inspiring. What I’ve picked up most from them is their glazing technique and attitude to not over analyze.
Tell us about the piece you will have in the show, what does it mean to you? What is your process, do you have the entire piece mapped out in your mind before you begin or does it come to be as you go? What was the impetus or see of the piece you have in the show?
The pieces for the show are for another series of work that I have done over the years. Two represent meeting your higher power and ego upon death. The other piece represents the moment you leave your body or the Void. I never tend to have an entire piece mapped out. When I think I do and say to myself this one is all figured out, I end up changing it around more than not. I’m never really satisfied with my work as I always want to know what else I can do to make this better, more interesting or really more confusing to myself and the viewer.
Where do you go to find peace? Do you meditate? Do you escape? Where do you go, physically or spiritually when you need to escape and center yourself?
I paint to find peace and escape from the crazy world and all the bullshit attached to it. I go into the Ether and meditate all day.
What is a current guilty pleasure?