Photo by Levi Jackman Foster 

Michael Angel is an Australian born New York based artist.

I have always placed limitations on myself, limitations for no reason. The comfort of constraint. My early work focused on squares, cubes, boxes. Jagged and rough or tight and secure. They felt safe to paint. The fear of going outside those lines is what excites me now as an artist- I want to push myself across the lines and develop a language that is unsafe and brave. 

A fear of being social, an obsessive-compulsive nature. Looking out into the night and seeing movement & being comfortable with isolation but still desiring outside. I’m attracted to the freedom of lights and perversion of movement. Portraits are looking back at me- becoming uncomfortable with confrontation. Distorting the portraits and figures and morphing them into exterior landscapes- BEING OUTSIDE. Michael Angel

Following a noted and innovative practice in digital print design, he marks a return to painting. Colorful, but with a palette that is offset by a persistent use of blacks, navies and whites, highly textured, but with a dimensionality that is brought into relief by deliberate patches of smooth and flat, the oils all exhibit Angel’s earnest and expressive knife-work.

Here, the manual painterly gesture is on full display, peppered throughout with moments of seeming pixilation, perhaps an artifact of, or homage to, the artist’s years of working with digital techniques. 

Angel's work as a whole, of course, recalls the tradition of post-war abstract painting, though absent is any of the contemporary anxiety about the condition of the medium in an art world now happy to dub a print or a cast a “painting.” This is not to suggest that Angel’s work is nostalgic or even retrospective, but only that Angel himself is primarily concerned with the business of putting paint to canvas and saves talking about it for later.

Of his abstractions, Angel is refreshingly guileless: once a painting is completed he has no unease at identifying a figure here, a memory there. As for their public presentation, the works remain untitled, and Angel keeps at an inquisitive remove from the viewer’s choice to see, or not see, whatever he will.
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