Rendering traditionally cheerful images and concepts into frightening, yet humorous, tableaus, Michael Mararian often focuses on children as the last bastion of innocence to explore the dark humor behind social and psychological issues. What can on one level be construed as melancholy and cruel, can alternately be viewed as amusing, even charming. He enjoys letting his viewers decide.
Michael is a graduate of the Art and Theater program at the University of Bridgeport as well having studied at the Arts Student's League in New York City. His work has previously been shown worldwide at Corey Helford Gallery and Thinkspace Gallery in Los Angeles, Bristol City Museum in Bristol England, Galerie D'Art Yves Laroche in Montreal, Last Rites Gallery in New York City and the Antonia Fraunberg Gallery in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Originally from Andover, Massachusetts, Michael currently lives and works in New York. He attributes his inspiration to his wife Elizabeth and their six cats - 99, Charlotte, Lola- Pumpkin, Bridgette, Zoey and Suess.
My work explores elements of contradiction. I am especially interested in examining how humor and tragedy coexist within our society. In my recent work, I deconstruct the American dream touching upon such topics as gross consumerism, school violence, teenage disappointments, pressures and the slowly growing social isolation that are part of our childhood and adult culture.
The use of contradiction is an integral part of my work to magnify the absurdity of any given situation and draw a conflicting reaction from the viewer. Often times these themes are combined using real children as my inspiration from various forms of photography. I give the impression that my subjects are hovering in their environments, skin tones rendered in grey to add to their removed, unearthly state of being. They are part of this vibrant world yet quite alone.
Each work is hand painted in acrylic on paper.
Born: Andover, MA 1965
BFA 1987 Theater Arts Program, University of Bridgeport, CT
2003 Art Students League, New York, NY
2013 TBA (Solo)
2010 The Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles
2009 The Antonia Von Fraunberg Art Gallery, Dusseldorf, Germany (Solo)|
2008 McCaig-Welles Gallery, New York, NY (Solo)
2008 Phobias, Foibles & Fiends, The Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (Solo)
2007 Little Unfortunates, The Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2012 Sope Art Fair, March 2012 -New York
2011 Sope Art Fair, December 2011 - Miami
2011 Corey Helford Gallery 5th Anniversary, July - Los Angeles
2011 Last Rites Gallery, New York (Two Person Exhibit)
2010 SCOPE MIAMI. Corey Helford Gallery
2008 DEEP POP, Kenneth Chapman Gallery, Iona College, New Rochelle, NY
2007 "Little Unfortunates", The Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (Two Person Exhibit)
2007 Bridge Art Fair, Miami, FL
2007 The War Show, The Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2007 Sweet Calaveras, Yves Laroche Gallerie D'Art, Montreal, Canada
2006 Group Exhibition, Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2006 Picks of the Harvest , Thinkspace Gallery, Santa Monica, Los Angeles
2005 The Dirty Show Expo, Detroit, MI
2005 See You In Hell, MF Gallery, New York, NY