Inspiration

Inevitably at some point, growth is checked, constrained or ended. In nature this could be through a lack of nutrition, illness or even death. In these paintings the physical boundaries of the canvas dictates the ending of the scheme. Visual reality stops, yet the viewer can continue this process through their imagining, how the work would change and develop if the objects were freed and allowed to multiply and move away from the canvas edge.

The iconography of popular culture is replaced by strange and suggestive designs. Limbs, digits, intestinal like shapes squirm and writhe across the picture plane, creating a surreal choreography of movement. Warhol’s influence can be seen in the choice of colour, often strong and vivid. It is used to strengthen and reinforce the repeat, yet at other times, it is utilised to confuse and break down the scheme.

These paintings may be seen as a visual metaphor for the biological process of reproduction, growth and development, the complexity of personality and identity. On closer inspection, smaller, individual characters or organisms seem to exist, separate and independent of the mother image. Space, colour, shape and line, whether foreground or background, conspire to create puzzles that involve and engage the viewer.

These shapes separate into isolation or organise and collude to create pattern and to an extent order. Surfaces are either painted with flat colour or with light and dark creating a more nuanced surface and are more three dimensional in effect.

Growth and development can be both physical and emotional. In the complex and challenging experiences of life we battle with doubt, fear and vulnerability. My paintings attempt to bare witness to this struggle and imbue shapes with pathos and theatre that enlivens Abstracted forms that flash or perhaps are shadowed by humanity.These shapes appear to be suspended in space and time. Are they static or are they falling?

In short I wish to bring the drama and emotionality of Figurative Art to the sometimes cold and calculated world of Abstraction. My Abstracts are Totems and vehicles that animate the complexities of living.





Blog interview, January 2012 for Culturelabel.com

What inspires your artistic practice?

I am interested in bringing the mass produced into the realm of the one off. The dogmatic urge of the repeat and the endless variation and complexity of a pattern interests my aesthetic at present. I play with these rules and make decisions on colour and shape, deciding on the balance and counter balance of all these mass variables. I deconstruct the scheme of the repeat.

I design what I term a 'Mother' image. This is a mass, made up of four squares and is the identity, organism that exists either on its own in paintings such as ‘Orbital’ or as part of a wider order in a work such as 'Colour Crush'. Within these patterns, smaller 'beings' act and interact within the whole. I find these shapes have a character and life of their own, rather like amorphic/amoebic cartoon characters.

My paintings are metaphors for development and growth. The individual and the society. We exist, flourish and fail; yet we all contribute to the tapestry of life.

I love colour, I am inspired by Graphic art and the exuberance found in the visual delights of Pop art and popular culture, past and present. 


You describe you work as organic abstracts, what attracts you to organic matter?

I am interested in the poetic and languid qualities of organic shapes; the soft lines mirror nature, its ebb and flow. I hope that these flowing lines enhance my works. The term abstract can be a bit cold, bringing to mind the white light of modernity, which I love.

The organic element is employed to evoke nature, and bring a sense of humanity into these non-figurative works. I love the clean and cool elements of abstraction and its bedfellow modernity. I feel we in Britain are afraid of this term and seek the old, the safe, and the character elements of tweeness. The word, 'character' usually evoked by people when describing houses and homes is an example of this fear.

I was trained at Edinburgh College of Art, where the importance of representative drawing and in particular, life drawing was promoted. I gained skills and the ability to render the illusion of reality and space on a two-dimensional surface and gained a love of drawing that I posses to this day. This said, I feel that to base my career on producing figurative and representational art does not inspire me at present as it did in the past. I love the aesthetic of architecture, interiors, fashion and design in general.

Although the ‘figurative’ does not excite at the moment, the knowledge and skills learnt from it over many years, has informed and improved my practice. 


Do you remember the first work of art you made?

Yes. I think it was a painting of a lovely rich red car with big fat black wheels when I was in my first year at Primary school. I love beautiful designed cars to this day.


What is your favourite piece of art?

Now that would limit me, it's like asking an artist, what is your favourite colour. That would not do.

Art has many languages and styles. It would be like saying; ' I like the Italian language the best'. Other languages and cultures communicate and express their unique perspective. Separate and individual pieces of Art speak to us in different ways depending on our frame of mind or present life experience and emotion. What I loved in the past may now no longer have the same hold on me as it once did.

You have held many different jobs before becoming a full time artist; adventure playground worker, theatre and textile designer, a teacher etc…, have these experiences shaped your artistic practice?

Without doubt these varied roles have directed me into different worlds of experience. I have always been an artist. In every job I have utilised my skills and abilities. It is like a fixation, I express myself and interact with people with creativity as a conduit for me to bring out my personality and character. I love people. I love diversity. I am at my happiest surrounded by good company. The ability to get immersed in a good and absorbing conversation is my idea of happiness and contentment. I love a good talker.


Who are your favourite up and coming artists?

Look out for an artist/student still at Central St Martin's Art school, called Adrian Kiss. I taught him at A level and recognized a unique voice and talent. If his youth does not get in the way, he will become an artist to watch.

I feel Art schools in Scotland are still producing exciting and innovative artists. Every year it seems the Turner Prize has at least two Scottish individuals and many have gone on to win. Sorry, a bit of a nationalistic plug, well I am Scottish you know! 

© Michael Worobec 2017