My name is Christopher Michel, my artist name is CAM. My artistic style is a combination of abstract, expressionism and folk art. Critics have described my style of art as Outsider/Art Brut, because I am a self taught artist with military disabilities. Mixing mediums allows me to tie paintings together for a detailed finished look. The process of my art contains exploration and taking risks to create unique paintings. Influences for the thoughts and ideas for my art stem from being a war veteran, as well as my education of anthropology. The concepts also derive from dreams and visions that I can recall or have noted. Everything in the world around me can be accountable for what is produced in my art; However, I try not to look at other images when I paint and only concentrate on how I can make each individual painting a success. What success means to me is if a painting I am working on allows me to express myself freely.
I begin by stretching an unprimed, custom made, canvas tarpaulin directly to the wall through grommets located around its perimeter. These tarpaulin painting surfaces present as rough and unpretentious, staking out an action area while eschew
ing precious object status. When painting each mark/form becomes an abstracted response to perceptions and memories: cypher-symbols queued up to follow, to react to and modify previous similar actions, accumulating toward a visual zeitgeist. By conflating visible forms in nature and the invisible energies described by theoretical physics, I present fantasy environments shaped not only by light, but by sounds, smells, touch and taste. I ultimately understand and communicate my sense of being in the world through imagery that is as much visceral as rational.
My favorite parts of painting are the beauty of combining colors, the creativity of ideas and the humor in the worlds created. I see whimsical connections between things and they make me smile. I have been attending Torah discussions for many years. Ideas fly and whirl around the table interspersed with commentary, thoughts of Rabbis throughout the ages, debating with one another across centuries. Talmud comments go round & round in convoluted circles which then somehow lead back to the point. These paintings of Torah stories are special to me, a bashert coming together of worlds: Painting, Torah & Hebrew, as if in alignment with the stars, something meant to be. I am my best self when I paint. I paint from my heart. I set colors on colors & in some haphazardness of luck or inspiration, the overlay of what happens is beautiful and I leave it. My goal is to delight the viewer, to cause smiles and laughter, joy and pleasure, and to find beauty in color, pattern and subject of the art
My work is based on different combinations of pixels. In the 21st century, people display images and text through the screens of computers and smartphones. Through pixel technology, people construct new symbols, patterns, images, and texts by an assembly of different forms and quantities, allowing them to communicate with the viewers quickly. I try to recreate ancient Chinese characters and patterns in a way that is similar to coding through contemporary computer graphics technology. Visually and formally unitizing pixels, I actually talk more about communication, as a subject, in different perspectives. I transfer the ancient Chinese characters, oracle bone script and bronze inscription, to pixel characters, so that translate to current popular internet language. I record these new vocabularies to allow the past culture communicating with the present context, talking about the obstacles between different languages, culture and times.
As people desire to learn and discover the latest data while holding onto earlier records as resources, Annie Amelyte Kim adapted the idea of society being balanced between liberal and conservative. As a depiction of her background, she is using acrylic boards to reveal the new generation and takes Korean traditional objects as references but focuses on abstract forms instead of actual ancient patterns to show the mingling of the perfect looking imperfect world. Furthermore, not only history, but also our current events sometimes ends up mysterious. By reflecting colorful lights from different directions will create smudged figurations of the sculptures on the floor or on the other side of the wall, which will definitely be a stunning and powerful presentation.
I remember, when I was a child hearing my dad embellish every story. Some part of me was always attracted to his ability to have a story line and improve upon it with creativity and visual symbolism to the point , the story became more than it was. I suppose in some way, I am continuing that legacy. Sometimes my images read as a play, an opera or a comedy. Each story takes a life of its own combining visual and free thought. I use abstract characters to speak with a voice that is their own. I scribble, use words occasionally, and anything that comes into my mind as the drawing or painting begins its own journey I have always loved books, the illustrations as well as the words.
My work is a combination of that form of art as well as arts that I have studied and seen. I love to draw and to paint. I have loved cave painting, abstract expressionism, Degas, Kahlo, The Garden of Earthly Delight, Peter Bruegel, the elder, Kathe Kollwitz, Max Beckmann, Vincent Van Gogh, and Susan Rothen.
I create paintings whose subjects are based on real people I have observed. The most inspiring interactions of figures, space and light occur out in the world. I seek those moments and manipulate my observations to create compositions. In addition to sketching, I take many photos to aid my memory of any given space. I utilize classical and digital techniques to arrive at a final composition which serves as my guide in creating a painting. Through my figurative paintings I hope to communicate the specific and unique emotions of those people I observe. My guiding criterion for choosing what to paint is how well it expresses the thought I wanted to express through the painting.
I believe figurative art clearly a nd emphatically communicates ideas to the viewer. Another criterion is how well the scene allows me to explore space, light and figures to create a complex scene full of lively figures. Ultimately only the painting shows that thing about the scene that grabbed my attention.
This work can be interpreted as a series of wall-corner mind installations, paintings in space or architectural moments. Made out of multi-colored yarn, they are intrinsic representations of the three alchemical elements that have made me the person I am today: my Mexican culture, Buddhism practice, and their interrelationship which has influenced my art-making. I create string installations comprising natural-dyed, colored wool yarn from Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca- Mexico. I went beyond the aesthetics of my work to also explore the energy of new materials. I do not plan how the pieces are going to turn out. Rather, each work emerges through the making. In other words, the process is more important than the outcome. The colors and material of the pieces may reflect my origins, but the form of the installation indicates the form of my mind. Since the mind does not have shape or color, I am essentially creating physical manifestations of it through my art.
Narrative drives my work. All experience involves both space and time, as does most representation, in one way or another. And for me, at least, reality always comes down to stories. In painting and drawing descriptive, outward realities, I am also describing implied narratives that stretch out beyond the moment shown. My works are often semi-autobiographical domestic scenes with still compositions and stories that are more internal than external. I strive to defy the stillness of the painting, to portray a layered narrative where residues of the past and suggestions of the future swirl around the present, creating a kind of “thick time.”
To accomplish this, I use the scattered signs of daily existence to reveal indirect insight into the rhythm of everyday life. But that sense of rhythm also depends on the formal structure of the picture itself, where the underlying abstraction must work in tandem with discernable imagery to deliver an engaging image.