Alexandra Fischer’s gig poster for Sleigh Bells show in San Francisco last week will be available online for purchase tomorrow. It is a 20″ x 26″ 4-color Screenprint, signed/numbered edition of 150. This edition and a variety of variants editions (see images below for details) all go on sale Saturday April 14th at 9am PDT HERE.
White Walls in San Francisco, CA is pleased to present Élan Vital, an accumulation of Michael Page’s new work into what is guaranteed to be an impressive solo show. The show has been much awaited since a 2011 solo show at Shooting Gallery, entitled Into Passing, where the artist created visual landscapes made stunning with ethereally blended colors and dreamlike scenes.
With a much larger space to utilize, Élan Vital will feature thirty paintings and six drawings, as well as an installation. The opening reception is Saturday, April 14, 2012 from 7-11 pm, and the exhibition is free and open to the public for viewing through May 5, 2012.
Vital force, evolution, and the development of organisms is what Michael Page, San Francisco-based artist, has based this latest body of work on. With a healthy interest in new life, spirituality, and the infinite variations of consciousness, Michael paints dreamscapes of alternative realities. Through boundless shapes of thick brush strokes and effervescent colors, his paintings portray the Pneuma or spirit/soul that breathes in every living organism. Numerous influences surfaced for Michael going into the show; old masters of art, Greek and Nordic mythology, and specifically an eye-opening book by Dr. Rick Strassman entitled “The Spirit Molecule”. The book details the hallucinatory effects of massive quantities of Dimethyltryptamine or DMT, a molecule present in the pineal gland of humans and all other animals on the vast planet which we experience high levels of naturally only two times in our life- at birth and death.
While Michael’s last show portrayed life in a darker realm by exploring the individual’s existence through its inevitable demise, Élan Vital takes a different approach. Michael explains, “I again wanted to turn my pieces inward, but looking at the beginning of life, rather than the darker side of leaving life.” Throughout the thirty paintings and drawings, varying in sizes from twelve inches to six feet, are a representation of snap shots of consciousness, moments in time, and a meeting of one’s soul, painted by Michael’s abstract motions and free flowing lines.
As the show progressed over the last year of its creation, many other influences presented themselves seemingly from outside the dimension of consciousness. A particular piece exemplifies this portraying the transformation of Zeus into a swan to seduce Leda, the mother of Helen and Polydeuces. When further explored, these characters too were the basis of this “molecule” in the sense that they represent a spirit or higher consciousness presenting new life and parallel realities to grasp and hold.
Amusing anecdote from the artist:
“Here’s a painting I did for my fiancé and soon to be awesome wife, Ash. I started this piece around October/November last year and it’s been quite a journey from inception to completion. I originally intended it to be a Christmas present, but then I had different plans for it. I knew I was going to propose to Ash so I decided to include it in my engagement plans. But as I worked on it, it took on a life of it’s own and a simple idea turned more grand and fantastical and layers turned into more layers.
Then one night, Ash and I went out to a nice dinner and my sister’s friend came up to our table from the bar. After the normal courtesies, he says, “I just wanted to congratulate you two. That’s really awesome.” In the next second, I saw Ash’s look of complete obliviousness to what was just said, his brief but unmistakable look of immediate guilt when he saw Ash’s face and his quick retreat from our table, leaving me completely caught off guard and looking at a face that wanted answers. All I could do was plead ignorance and formulate the angry texts I was going to send my sister when I had a free moment.
After that, the lid was blown off the whole deal and Ash started picking up on every little sign and every little comment. Some of my friends were interrogated, but I didn’t really tell anyone… to prevent this very thing from happening. So in the end, the painting didn’t become part of the engagement day, but I was able to take my time with it and really make it the painting I wanted it to be.
So here it is.
I’m also releasing this as a print, to which a large portion of the sales will go directly into our wedding. So in a way you’ll be helping us celebrate our wedding… and you might be contributing to that special bottle of whiskey that leads to one of our guests to becoming the drunk guy that takes his shirt off, makes a drunken, teary speech before jumping into the pond. You could very well make that magic happen.”