A Big Sweep | Watercolor and Acrylic on Grommeted Mylar | 30" x 40" | 2014
Artist Statement: The nature of my work is in the conjured, the collected, and the uncanny. My images and objects are a face for an open exploration of multiple realities, energies, atmospheres and unconventional encounters. I really am exploring what it means to have a body on one plane, a mind on the other, and the many combinations and preconceptions that collide therein. I appropriate found images and tear them apart, trying to find a nugget of something that rings true to my experiences being a southern boy, somewhat displaced in a very different kind of space. I look at a lot of media: coloring books, cartoons, arts and craft, pornography, art history, popular media.
John Michael holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studio Arts from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and is also an alumnus of Louisiana State University with a BFA in Painting and Drawing. He is primarily a painter, but has also worked in drawing, video, objects, performance, and printmaking. Byrd’s two-dimensional work compels viewers with a vibrating, sensual use of color and line, and transports us to a realm somewhere between reality and artificiality, what is familiar and what we fear. John Michael’s work has been featured in numerous regional and national exhibitions and competitions. Also, he has been awarded several grants and scholarships including the J. Kenneth Edmiston Memorial Scholarship and the Carl M. Thorp Memorial Art Scholarship. John Michael is currently an Adjunct Instructor at The University of Massachusetts-Amherst.