Published on August 13th, 2009 | by greg0
Michael Page : Thankyougoodbye :: Interview
Michael Page is an artist who has portrayed the epitaph of the world in a darkly humorous fashion. Michael Page depicts global transformations rich in evolving life, migrating with a purpose into a possible new planetary age. Each painting in the series addresses ecological upheaval without political bent, revealing new earthly possibilities on massive scale, transformed far beyond the cause.
1. Considering Ventvox is partially a music site, what music inspires you?
You have a nice site going on here! So all sorts of music inspire me, from metal, classic rock, country, soul, some rap..some of the bands that I always have on my playlists include Slayer, Opeth, Big Business, Finntroll, Kinks, J.J. Cale, Who, Twilight Circus, Thin Lizzy, Legendary Pink Dots, Current 93, Don Covay, Jaylib.
2. There’s a definite Dali influence to your work, what are some of your other influences?
You know I do enjoy Dali and never really thought he influenced me all that much, but now I look back on some of my pieces and I see how he could have helped play a roll. I for sure enjoy all the old masters from back in the day and some current masters of today. Bosch, Bacon, Dav Vinci, Seurat, Church…these are a few that have really help shape my way.
3. Your work displays a reverence for ecology and nature, do any other political or ideological views creep into your work?
For sure tons of ecology and nature reappear over and over in my work. My new show is pretty much based off melting Glaciers and the affect it has on all living organisms. I try to refrain from including any blatant political view in my work, but at times I have found myself doing a little jab here and there at certain political figures and current issues…such as the rape of other’s lands. But I always try and leave everything open enough so that the viewer can take in what they want and have their own story or meaning.
4. Would you classify your usage of color or shading as impressionistic?
I do enjoy impressionism, and yeah I think my paintings take on the light used in that art form and some of their color palates. Not so much with form, but for how they would approach a painting. I also love the old American and Dutch landscape realist and find them really influencing my work as well.
5. What is the story behind the “New Beginnings” series?
With the new beginnings series I was trying to show the problems one would have when trying to take over another land. This was a series when I wanted to reflect on our current situation in the world and the same type of situations that have occurred throughout time.
6. Would I be correct to assume that the characters in this series are doomed?
Yeah, pretty much…not all of them, but there is for sure pending danger in most of them.
7. Do current events help shape any of the ideas for paintings?
Yeah I think current issues do play a role at times in my work as I stated above, but I try not to let it bother me too much. When I can’t avoid it, I try to add a bit of a comedic twist. I think throughout time most artists painted current issues or rebelled against them and it has shown through their work and made a few of them what they are known for.
8. How would you describe your creative process?
For me it seems all subconscious, I just jot down ideas over and over and whichever one pops I explore the most. From there it goes into the painting stage. Lately I have been working off ideas I had explored a few years ago. In a few years I’ll probably be working off of ideas I have now that I haven’t really put to much thought into yet.
9. Are there friends or other artists that you would like to collaborate with?
There are a few artists out there that I would like to collaborate with and I have friends that I already work with. My Friends Sri Whipple and Jason Whealty started a painting collaborative called the Oyster Pirates. We ended up having 6 of us all painting on 25 different paintings. It was a good time and experience learning how others approach their work and the different techniques they use. Some artists that I have not worked with yet would be Damon Soule and a few guys from Brazil.
10. The poster for the Thankyougoodbye show appears kind of ominous and seminal at the same time. Would you say humor plays a part in your work?
For sure humor plays a role when I paint…I can’t be too serious about anything, we’re not here long enough on the planet to handle that bullshit. With this new series, I tried to show the devastating affects of our rising sea levels. I also wanted to show what life would be like after we’re gone.
11. What future themes would you like to explore?
I really do not know…I still enjoy what I’m working on right now. I feel like there is so much more that I need to do with these current works, so I most likely keep exploring to figure it out. From there who knows, maybe I’ll take my work through various dimensions in space…
12. Do you have any plans to work in other media?
Since I was a kid my dream was to create my own comic strip. So one day, hopefully sometime in the near future I will be able to work on that. I think it could open up so many more doors in my work and how I look and approach art.
13. What will critics be saying about you in 100 years?
If I’m one of the lucky ones, they won’t say much…that’s if they know who I am and what I have created. Maybe they’ll say this guy needed a real job.