(Image: Michael Beck, Sunday in the Park, 2011, Oil on canvas, h: 55 x w: 55 in; © Paul Thiebaud Gallery)
Michael Beck (b.1943, California, USA)
This new body of work explores the boundaries of what is an acceptable object in a fine art painting. Most still life paintings are filled with objects that have already been assigned an aesthetic value. They are objects most of us would be proud to own. The objects I choose are ordinary, out of use, out-dated remnants of our culture. I like to think of them as archaeological finds. Their oddness is meant to create a sense of confusion or question. A person finding a never-before-seen object on an archaeological dig might feel that same sensation. Each object is presented straight on, forcing the viewer to consider it alone. Isolated in the painting, the objects have no other reference but themselves. And yet they can conjure up references beyond their own experience. They invite flights of fantasy, stories designed by the individual viewer. These stories are the biographies that I try to elicit from the viewer, hoping they gain a new insight about what an object is, or how it can been seen.
Michael Beck's ongoing solo show at Paul Thiebaud Gallery will be on view till 20th Aug. 2011.
Education: California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA, 1971 - 1973. M.F.A. in Painting with High Distinction, California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA, 1984.