Betwixt- a magical kinetic universe where work from my other series commingle and/or turn themselves inside out--3D can become 2D, lenticular can be delenticulated, paint can become paper--time, space, and narratives warp.
LPs: Lenticular Portraits (2014-)
'LPs' (Lenticular Portraits)- Abstracted portraits of acquaintances based on the order, patterns and contents of their record collections. An intensive process that merges the artist's interests in painting, sculpture, woodworking, music, stripes, lenticular motion, and the discovery of personalities through possessions and organization. Each piece was created and guided by listening to only music contained within the original reference collections—an unpredictable variable that strongly influences my subconscious selection of color and brush control. The compositions shift and move with the viewer, as the colors merge, fracture, weave, and "vibrate".
runaway run away (2015- )
Runaway Run Away- a new experimental body of work navigating and resolving recent experiences with family loss and powering through an uncomfortable live/work environment. A meditative multi-staged/technique series, beginning with photographs of escape routes through my window, which are then stripped down to simple line drawings that serve as templates for cutpaper reinterpretations. I then chop up the paper collages and reassemble to represent the waves of dizzying, hallucinatory exhaustion I've experience--creating a model for the final painted composition. The entire process consists of calming, zen-like concentration and focus, which helps me to reclaim the power of the negative and cast it back to the viewer, transformed—“color-washing” the dark spots and conjuring healing and positivity through radiant hues and energetic vibrating forms.
live/work (2015- )
When alone, my mind wanders into other spaces, dimensions and time. Paper + razor blades + elbow grease.
factory made (2014)
For the Factory Made series, I hand-cut paper stock from independently-owned, family-run French Paper Company to create vibrant, abstracted scenes of the very factory where the paper is produced. The series provides a glimpse into the operations of the 140-year-old American paper mill by showcasing the production process and machinery—from pulp to the final paper product—in intricately layered collage format.
The subject matter is of particular resonance to me, growing up within a mile of the factory, and investigating it as a means to reconnecting with my hometown of Niles, Michigan following the death of my mother in 2012. I found artistic inspiration in the factory and its paper—providing a departure from my previous works in acrylic paint. The resulting series celebrates small manufacturing and a geographical sense of home.
In 2015, the Krasl Art Center of St. Joseph, MI commissioned a time-based media piece to accompany the cut-paper works for my solo exhibition of Factory Made (Jan 29- April 24, 2016). sound collage by the artist. The video is an animated reinterpretation of the cut-paper pieces from my Factory Made series w/ accompanying sound collage--creating a virtual, voyeuristic tour of the factory and the processes from which the paper is made.
Special thanks to The Krasl Art Center, Jason Forrest Hogg, Jonathan Rauberts, Jerry & Brian French/French Paper Company for crucuial support and technical assistance in helping to see this project to completion.
For best audio results, please listen through headphones/soundsystem to feel the lower frequencies and the rumble. And for best video results- project HUGE onto French Smart White paper.
FACTORY MADE PRESS
pattern recognition (2014-)
Ink on paper experiments with colliding colors, patterns, depth and hidden narritives within domestic living spaces
Pieces currently available at San Francisco-based fashion site, TheRealReal
#3Dpals (2014- 2015)
For 1 week in May 2014 and again in May 2015, I reached out to the cyber-ethers via instagram and invited anyone to tag one of their pictures with "#3Dpals". For each "tagged" image, I spent 6min quickly sketching/rearticulating in red and blue ink to create a frenetic "3D effect". All originals were mailed to each individual with a pair of 3D glasses, as a way to ensure that anyone can own a piece of art regardless of budgets and/or art world savvy . A zine compiling the process and results will be released soon.
analog gifs (2013- )
Inspired by crude flip books I drew in the back of my school bus and magic of lenticular images that I discovered through Sportsflics baseball cards and Crackerjack prizes as a child, this series is sculptural and animated—“analog gifs” of sorts. This work provides an interactive experience for the viewer as the compositions shift with movement as the viewer’s perspective shifts—a tool that I use as a means to relay dynamic motion and the passing of time.
collaborative culture (2012-13)
collaborative culture is a portrait project highlighting the significance of collaborative roles necessary to create, support, and sustain the arts. The selected subjects all contribute unique talents and expertise in their fields and embody the spirit of this project.
In preparation for each portrait in this series, I required subjects to reveal obsessions, muses, and secrets through a mandatory questionnaire, which I then used to build preliminary compositional concept sketches with embedded personal symbolism. I collaborated with a photographer and each subject, to co-art direct a “film set” to shoot reference photographs for the final painted portrait. Throughout the painting process, I listened only to the subject's favorite music—an experience that brought me closer to the subject, and in a sense allowed the subject’s hand to help guide, subconsciously, each brush stroke and pigment selection.
This series was presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's (BAM) Diker Gallery Feb-March 2013. 20% of every sold piece was donated to BAMart and Pratt Institute endowed scholarship funds.
wild kingdom (2012)
Animals have never been impressed with my want to be smart, to be successful, to be respected, or to be loved. Their love is seemingly unconditional—they are not impressed with narcissistic pursuits. In many ways they succeed where human’s stumble.
the world’s smallest paintings of the world’s largest things (2012-13)
Since the age of 6, I have been fascinated by the Guinness Book of World Records, obsessively leafing through and scanning over every page, learning every fact, and memorizing every otherworldly image. My continued fascination with these larger than life record holders and my interest in making the biggest impact with very small canvases served as inspirations for this series. And until someone dares challenge me, these are currently the world’s smallest paintings of the world’s largest things.
I was only able to secure the collaborative support of 2 record holders that I reached out to…thus, this is now the World's Smallest Series of the World's Smallest Paintings of the World's Largest Things
Piece #2 is currently available through Calico Brooklyn
father + child (2011-12)
Exploring the beautiful relationships that grow between fathers (that I never could picture as fathers) and their new children.
good times (2011-12)
Creative and inspiring individuals, caught in fleeting moments
All images © Michael Hambouz 2017