the Gesture Drawings '02, '03


Last year Mike had solo shows at Don Giovanni's, Bukowski's (with Jordan Bent), Mecca, Lugz, and Turks and showed at the Roundhouse for the annual collaberative performance peice "Anu." He'll be showing over a dozen books at the Britannia Branch Library in July. He'll also be performing at the Railway Club in May.

7 printmaking methods 1997     the portrait ongoing the 3 minute portrait experiment (25 in a 3 day marathon)2003 the Carnegie Hall Sessions 2001   lil' nudes (paint on photograph of large life studies) 1997-2003 pen & ink drawings from t.v. 1994 "Rachmaninoff" & other Composers (very recent work in development) 2003 portrait of an artist as a young man (& other novels drawn by me) 2000-2002 paintings of C.R. Avery's "A Shotgun Wedding"  2002 the quick brown fox  2002 moonmojo(5 songs) 2003 the diarial adventures of Mickey the Swan 2002 (the late 20th Century . Bop) 1988 a contribution to Jabbar Al Janabi's "Anu"2001 commercial work ongoing  studies of bus stops  1988  studies of taverns 1988        sign guestbook       view guestbook       c.v.


Here's some of the coorespondence between myself and a student at the U of B... regarding the nude in art.

      Thank you very much for writing me. The
 diversity of meaning available to the nude in art is
an interesting topic to me and I like your title.
       I'll answer your questions in order:
       I've been thorougly trained in the art of
 drawing the human figure from life. My training as a
 specific focus began under the tutalage of Janet
 Cardiff who presented her students with options
 regarding the body politic. I was taught the academic
 approach by Herb Hicks. My final year or two of
 figure study was taught by Robert Sinclair who ran a
 mediatative class. I spent that time drawing the
 nude in a daily three hour physical excercise withvery little instruction.
       In school I had discovered what you have
 indicated in your title: The human body carries a
 vast potential and history of meanings. so does the
 figure painting where things about people are stated.
The preconcieved  rendition of the human form isalmost
 irresistably stylized to state something about the
 human condition. Observational painting, moreover,
 is a slow meditative approach to making thatstatement.
      Here are some abstract ideas that have been
 represented by the human figure: physicality,
 efemorality, liberty, grace, violence, biology,
 mortality, fragility, divinity...., an endless list
 of abstract ideas personified in figure paintings.Once
 we know we have that ability - What are the ideas we
 want to express? How do we want to represent
 ourselves? The questions availavle to the figure
 artist are literal ones. How does the figure sit?
 what is its setting? Are the colors true to life,
 realistic, or are they otherworldly? Should the
 figure be veiled in darkness, mysterious? should it
be well lit, available for scrupulous observation,
exposed, obvious? Lit by the sun or a candle?
     The process by which I was taught by every
teacher without exception is that of association. We
are reminded to place our feet in the same position as
the models, our hips, our spine, shoulders. By this
process we impose on our own work assumptions about
our own humanity. We are taught to be aware of where
weight falls and tensions sit contrary to the
sensations of relaxation and lightness. Through these
means we become resensitized to the business of having
a body and being alive in one.If you follow the line
down he face or the arm of one of Freud's subjects you
can get the idea of how he would go about washing his
feet, preparing salad, caressing his children.
       I give some ideological consideration to the
ideas about cropping. My figures normally outstretch
the confines of he picture plane. They are suggested
to exist beyond it. Sometimes they appear to me as if
they're about to leave. I never crop a figure in such
a way as to dismember it, but rather, suggest its
ontinuity beyond the plane of its objecthood. The hint
of the subject's ability to change or move, I think,
is important ideologically, and I'll express it with
lines particular to flesh, describing its maleability
as opposed to its statuesqueness.     This is a long letter Sarah-Louise.
    No, painting's not porno. I'll write you a letter
why if you really get stuck. Porno just doesn't
comprise of the same language I described.
Pornographer's don't have the same ideas in mind. Sure
nude art is sensual and can be even a tool for sexual
liberation. I'll have to write you later If your still
researching. If you still need some answers.
Sincerely,Mike Sullivan