MICHAEL KOLLER

"My art is a window into the incredible beauty of chaos and order in life.

A view that will let you step outside yourself "

STUDIO DIRECTIONS

Statement


Real Art is Alive, Original, Creative

It's ... the purity of reaching for something new.

... reaching in a new way for something old , to experience it anew.

It's ...the passion of exploration

Look and listen for the soul first, the integrity that drives the real artist beyond the horizon of familiarity and predictability, beyond the muffled, weak, superficial imitations of earlier artists who were real soul adventurers because they crossed the boundary of the unknown. A real artist can feed your soul by taking you to a new and different world...even in places you already visit every day.

Without this it's only craft - something most businessman could do given enough time to learn basic art skills, tricks and theories. Just another numbing visit to the parking lot of predictability - the almost world of almost art.


Painting

Painting is visual music. The absolutely most important things is to have a life and movement of its own.

This is always “abstract” ...in the language of paint. An artist can do this with or without painting recognisable images. It doesn't have to look like something, but it has to have life and be able to move your eyes.

A painter’s tools are paint and all the different ways you can make it interact with light. Anything is fair. You talk with color, shapes, brushstrokes, texture, reflection, shadows, and illusions.

When I paint I feel like I'm making music in color. Big sweeping sounds, underlying visual beats of colors or shapes or brush strokes that set up rhythms. Small touches of unexpcted colors to surprise you or accent a more obvious visual movement. Harmonies that are expected and harmonies that are unexpected. Dissonances, visual movements that take off in surprise directions, little hidden visual patches and big joining movements that only become apparent after looking at the painting for a long time. Unexpected relationships. I want my paintings to be a visual landscape that you can take a walk or run in , a place to get lost and find something new every time you look.

 

E .V. Etchings

Instead of doing traditional editions of multiples of the same image I decided to make very small editions where each print is unique. The etchings are labeled E. V (edicion variee) to denote that the individual prints in the edition are varied. Each print is hand inked differently each time it is printed, thus making each one of a kind. I think of the plate as a terrain, the unchanging part of a landscape. Different colors bring out different aspects of the plate, like seeing that terrain in different weather, seasons, or times of day. Each print is therefore a unique individual, one of a kind.

 

Background


Education

Studied under Chinese painter Wing K. Leong and at the Museum Art School in Portland,Oregon, at Otis Art Institute with Chris Burden, and at UCLA.

After school I took a year to travel and study independently, drawing my way through Western Europe, Budapest-Hungary, Morocco, and New York City.

Back at home on the West Coast I taught myself printmaking through a combination of books, talking to every printmaker I ran across, and experimenting and printing on my own as much as possible. In the summer of '86 I worked with master printmaker Tony Zepeda from Gemini G.E.L. in Los Angeles.

Exhibitions: I'm a member of both the Los Angeles Printmaking Society and the California Society of Printmakers. My work has been in several group shows including "The American Miniature Printmaker", a CSP show in Denmark, and one in Eugene, Oregon. The Portland Art Museum has one of my suites of etchings in their collection and galleries in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Seattle have bought my etchings. I've had one person shows at the Printmakers Gallery in San Francisco and at Lino Beles and am in many private collections.

Collections: Minolta, CSC Partners, Macy's, and other companies have my work in their corporate collections. Four of my metal pieces were purchased for Narita airport in Tokyo, Japan. I have created groups of etchings on commission for hotels in Japan, France, and Greece and series of reliefs for complete multi-room offices for several Bay area firms. These included single pieces as large as 4' by 6' and an 8' wide triptych. Several pieces were purchased for Donald Trump's condominiums in New York. A dozen pieces were also acquired for the Spa at the Lodge at Pebble Beach.

 

Biography

Born in Austria - grew up in L.A. Immigrating at 7 and becoming part of a completely new language and culture I learned that instead of being absolute, culture was like fashion. It changed with the weather and environment.

At the age of 18 I moved from L.A.to the Northwest and visited New York and London. I also hitchhiked for the first time - From NY City back to Portland, Oregon by way of Canada (an experiment in trust and chance). I spent several years living in a tiny cabin in the Oregon woods where I absorbed things universities and streets can't teach. Back to the basics of a wood stove, a kerosene lamp, water direct from Eagle Creek, and a small garden, I got close to nature and learned first hand how dependent we all still are on clean water and air, fire, and soil.

Earth can live without us, but we can't live without it. Nature is more vitally important to us than any culture.

Since then I've always lived somewhere on the West Coast working a variety of jobs to broaden my experience and traveling whenever I could while developing my visual tools. For a while I fluctuated between large cities and wilderness - since I love both. In the past both my art and lifestyle may have seemed chaotic but to me there was an underlying order while I was assembling pieces of a puzzle. Now everything is slowly forming the new whole I've envisioned. I have now been living as a full time artist for many years.

 

Process and Technique

Etched Metal Reliefs

While being mostly a printmaker focused on etching I often found myself looking at my etching plates as works of art in th emselves. Occasionally I would frame a plate after I had finished editioning the prints.

Ten years ago I started making plates that were created as finished pieces of art without ever pullingt a print from them. I like etching deeply into the plates with strong acid solutions. To me the process relates to natural processes like erosion and weathering.Sometimes the pieces feel like they are growing themselves. I paint onto this three dimensional surface with oil paints and enamels. This is always a magical part for me because there are so many different ways to react to this 3-D surface with color and they all bring out different aspects of the plate.The final step is to seal the plate to prevent oxidation and protect the polish.

I like this process because its very organic and full of mystery. If you hang the art in an area with changing light you will see even more variations as the light changes throughout the day. The pieces keep changing the longer I look at them and keep surprising me. I think they're very succesful for me because I believe real art should have a life of its own instead of just mimicking something - and these pieces definitely do.

 

E.V Etchings

For several years I would make plates and mount them without ever pulling a single print from them Recently I felt like printing etchings again from some of the plates. Instead of doing traditional editions of multiples I decided to make very small editions of only 2-15 prints per plate. The etchings are labeled E. V (edicion variee) to denote that it is a varied edition. Each prints is hand inked differently each time it is printed, basically making them monoprints. I think of the plate as a terrain, the unchanging part of a landscape. Different colors bring out different aspects of the plate,like seeing that terrain in different weather, seasons, or times of day. Each print is therefore really a monoprint, a unique individual, one of a kind.

 


STUDIO DIRECTIONS

To contact me please e-mail me at mk@seamlesscity.com