The Artist

Michael McCall is multi-disciplined artist currently working in the Greater Joshua Tree artistic  community. His painting medium is a combo of acrylic, enamel oil paint on reclaimed road signs.
 
The signs, downed usually by a mishap of a vehicle driver. They are rarely recovered by the
 
highway department, especially if McCall gets to them first in his clean-up campaign. The signs
 
are taken to his studio and cleaned with chemicals, removing the words and the graffiti, giving
 
the artist a clean, reflective surface to work upon. They are complete with the scars of their
 
roadside experiences. He then creates intuitive designs, begun by initially blocking out areas,
 
allowing the reflective quality of the surface to be seen within the painted areas. The result is a
 
portal into another universe, into the void and beyond.

Michael McCall is multi-disciplined artist currently working in the Greater Joshua Tree artistic  community. His painting medium is a combo of acrylic, enamel oil paint on reclaimed road signs.  The signs, downed usually by a mishap of a vehicle driver. They are rarely recovered by the  highway department, especially if McCall gets to them first in his clean-up campaign. The signs  are taken to his studio and cleaned with chemicals, removing the words and the graffiti, giving  the artist a clean, reflective surface to work upon. They are complete with the scars of their  roadside experiences. He then creates intuitive designs, begun by initially blocking out areas,  allowing the reflective quality of the surface to be seen within the painted areas. The result is a  portal into another universe, into the void and beyond.

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Although schooled as a painter, his artwork extends beyond painterly boundaries into areas of  sculpture, photography, performance, and conceptual art.

Although schooled as a painter, his artwork extends beyond painterly boundaries into areas of  sculpture, photography, performance, and conceptual art.

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McCall’s work has been described as a hybrid of abstraction and imagery, sometimes referred  to as “Imagist.” Elements throughout the work: color, shape and form, connect him to the
 
abstract modernists of the twentieth century, but his use of graphic symbolism walks a line
 
between abstraction and realism. The symbols appear as abstract metaphors of a personal
 
journey of research and self-discovery, while he exhibits a sense of humor, most notable in the
 
titles of the pieces. In much of the work from the past three decades he uses elements from
 
Chinese philosophy and mysticism that show a focus on an inner search, an enlightenment that
 
tends to intrigue and amuse the viewer with his positive and harmonious outlook.

McCall’s work has been described as a hybrid of abstraction and imagery, sometimes referred  to as “Imagist.” Elements throughout the work: color, shape and form, connect him to the  abstract modernists of the twentieth century, but his use of graphic symbolism walks a line  between abstraction and realism. The symbols appear as abstract metaphors of a personal  journey of research and self-discovery, while he exhibits a sense of humor, most notable in the  titles of the pieces. In much of the work from the past three decades he uses elements from  Chinese philosophy and mysticism that show a focus on an inner search, an enlightenment that  tends to intrigue and amuse the viewer with his positive and harmonious outlook.

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Notes on Painting Less

Notes on Painting

Painting is a private thing and it’s always intimate. It’s a pretty basic act to produce images, to communicate through the use of symbols, whether one chooses recognizable or abstract symbols.

All the best painters are romantics, and painting should be an act of desire. A good painting should have a real mystery behind it. There is a vast history and tradition in painting that needs to be known, but then worked against, torn apart, discarded, maybe even destroyed. Passion and desire can do this. One needs to delve into the unknown, into the inner source and find something inside that needs to get out. That’s what I mean about passion. It is a muse… and one needs to think deeply in an abstracted way to understand this.

Traditional ways of art making need to be challenged. Even the work you did yesterday needs to be challenged, because staying with the same ideas leads to stagnant work.

Painting is a private thing and it’s always intimate. It’s a pretty basic act to produce images, to communicate through the use of symbols, whether one chooses recognizable or abstract symbols.

All the best painters are romantics, and painting should be an act of desire. A good painting should have a real mystery behind it. There is a vast history and tradition in painting that needs to be known, but then worked against, torn apart, discarded, maybe even destroyed. Passion and desire can do this. One needs to delve into the unknown, into the inner source and find something inside that needs to get out. That’s what I mean about passion. It is a muse… and one needs to think deeply in an abstracted way to understand this.

Traditional ways of art making need to be challenged. Even the work you did yesterday needs to be challenged, because staying with the same ideas leads to stagnant work.

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