Michelle Bratsafolis

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Quadrants, 2014 Oil On Linen 16" W X 20" H © Michelle Bratsafolis
Almost 21, 2015 Oil On Lin En 16"W X 20"H © Michelle Bratsafolis
Young Girl in a Hat, 2015 Oil On Linen 24" W X 30 " H © Michelle Bratsafolis
Profile of a Young Woman, 2015 Oil On Linen 16" W X 20" H © Michelle Bratsafolis
Pedro, 2015 Oil On Canvas 16"W X 20"H © Michelle Bratsafolis
Retiro Park Installation, Madrid, 2013 Cyanotype 11" W X 15" H © Michelle Bratsafolis
Chelsea Water Tower, 2015 Cyanotype 11"W X 15" H © Michelle Bratsafolis
Van Gogh Woodpile, 2015 Van Dyke Brown 15"W X 11"H © Michelle Bratsafolis
Tete a Tete, 2016 Cyantype On Silk Organza 13"H X 19"W © Michelle Bratsafolis
Soldier Boy, 2016 Cyanotype On Silk Organza 16" H X 18" W © Michelle Bratsafolis
Woman in a Winged Bonnet with Veil, 2015 Cyanotype On Silk © Michelle Bratsafolis
Reverie, 2015 Paper Lithograph 11"H X 18"W © Michelle Bratsafolis
Quick Facts
New York
Lives in
Works in
Brandeis University, 1979, BA
Hofstra University School of Law, 1982, JD
National Academy School, 2016, Studio Art Intensive


My work explores the themes of identity, communication and memory.  I do this mainly through two mediums---painting and alternative photographic processes.  When I paint, most often in oil, I focus on people and what their expressions, gestures and clothing convey or communicate about themselves.  My goal is to memorialize what captures my interest in them, so that aspects of their humanity or individual personalities that caught my attention will not be lost.  At the same time, I am intrigued by the tension between what is seen and what is not, so I aim to balance the information that I put into a painting with the challenge of mystery, sometimes eliminating the details so that the viewer can imagine what is obscured and complete the story. 

Alternative photographic processes allow me to investigate memory and its preservation in different ways.  I use the cyanotype and van dyke brown processes, both invented in a bygone era, to explore my longstanding interest in these themes.  The camera-less prints that I create harness chance to capture fleeting moments in time, usually involving nature, landscapes, architecture or a combination of natural and man-made elements.  More recently I also have used these processes to explore my interest in the human figure, identity, and communication.

Sometimes I incorporate art historical references in my art, because reflecting on the work, materials and techniques of old masters allows me to pay homage to processes that may be on the brink of extinction, and consider whether to preserve or move beyond them in my practice.  Regardless of what I am doing, I always ask myself whether the viewer will see what I saw, feel what I felt, or understand what I felt when I saw it.  This interest in continuing a conversation begun with my perception and the desire to preserve something fleeting by putting my mark on the memory is what drives the evolution of my work.



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