Mikel Frank - USA - Death Stare
There are many levels of meaning to an artist’s work and there are many reasons why an artist makes art. There are also artists, works of art and creative endeavors, which have no evident meaning and that does not make them any less valuable or less essential. The act of painting and creating is something that is in my nature. I am happiest when I am doing it. When I am in the creative “zone” time seems to stand still. It may be the only time that I am truly in the moment, the present moment. Like the Dadaists and Abstract Expressionists, my work is mostly about spontaneity and automatism. I do not plan or do sketches before I start making a picture. It is a dialogue; emotionally and intellectually responsive. I make a mark or glue down an image or shape, then respond to it and make another mark that helps support the creation of the overall work. It is like call and response or musical improvisation. It is important to realize, however, that I am constantly using my knowledge of the elements, principles and vocabulary of art and design: line, shape, form, color, value, space, etc. are essential to how I construct my work. Some of my pieces are done with a medium known as encaustic. I embed images into a layer of molten wax to create a kind of narrative using various mixed media. At times I go purely abstract using non-objective forms and shapes to create a picture based on my own personal sense of where things should be compositionally and aesthetically. Other times I create a narrative arranging found images from different sources juxtaposing them to create a psychological allusion or suggestive symbolism or metaphor.
Collaboration is an important part of my art making process as well. I enjoy working with other artists to create art works that literally feed off the creative energy or vision of someone else. It can be cathartic and inspirational. It forces me to see things differently. It creates a third artist whose presence would not exist without the other artist’s creative vision. This is my experience with my painting partner Gerard Amsellem and with Global Art Project.
Painting for me is an expression of what is going on in my life. It is not translation it is interpretation and reaction. It takes many forms and uses many techniques and processes to communicate my vision. My mission is to communicate a visual language through imagery, expression, and form, which has at its core a reflection of my aesthetic and the history of where it came from.
I am a creative! I have been an artist since I was 16 years old, but I did not think so seriously until I was in college and transferred out my second year of a liberal arts school to a full-on fine art program at Maryland Institute College of Art. I think considering myself an artist was a matter of confidence in the fact that I was good enough. Once I had the confidence, I could make some art that was truly what I wanted to visually express. As an artist, I want to communicate that visual information in an informed way with an eye toward giving viewers an experience that may provide understanding and insight into, not only the process of art making, but the visual impact that my work may have.
Mikel Frank - USA - Death Stare – mixed media - 33x23x21
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