Michael Cutlip is a master at unexpected juxtapositions——Image a big, dynamic abstraction in red, orange and white, with chunks and splashes of other colors, and graphic elements taken from the street……this is Michael Cutlip’s art. Direct, Bold. Compelling……
Michael says he is inspired by the naïve gestures and honesty of children’s art, as well as the layering and weathered aspects of paint and postings on old buildings. He uses house paint, Xerox transfers, a printing press, wallpaper, book pages, and many other things not usually found at an art supply store. “In life I think I tend to be somewhat serious, but when I’m in the studio, it’s like playing. I’m having fun and putting things together. Then I find something that works and it makes me smile,” said Michael.
“I might start out just throwing down a bunch of flyers from a telephone pole, or tear up some posters just to get some stuff underneath, which a lot of times you see revealed in the edging,” he says. “What paper taught me is composition, and about color. Now I’m just dealing with the basics. Taking a piece of paper and tearing it, layering another piece on top of it, layering, layering — you start creating something you wouldn’t have imagined.”
Michael’s vocabulary has roots in the Abstract Expressionism of Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell and Clyfford Still, and in Mark Tobey’s calligraphic scribbles, and have the same sort of grooving street energy, mixed with fine-art finesse.
As a teacher, Michael is very skilled at helping others see new directions. He encourages pushing edges, exploring the unknown and finding the magic that comes from the process of collage making.
Michael Cutlip and Suzanne Jacquot will be giving a 3 day Mixed Media Workshop July 19, 20, 21 and it is a rare treat to have such a talented teacher and artist make this special visit to the bay area. .