MICHAEL CARSON

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The opening scene is about a group of women gathering inside an open space, probably waiting for an audition. May be they all are young models, fixing up the last bits and pieces before entering a catwalk. What immediately intrigues the observer is the fact they all share the same hairstyle, same skirt and shoes. They even have identical features. So, the second thought is: probably what we are seeing is just one woman, portrayed in different position and gestures over time, to let the canvas kinematically stretch in order to capture a multiple time. This lady walks and looks around, checks her dress, then bends to clean a speck of dust on her left shoe. She’s meditative, probably even worried by something, for sure she’s self conscious of her beauty. Her skinny legs convey a sense of nervous trepidation. We almost smell her personality and hear her voice. While we are lost into the details of the painting, we slowly start to realize the room is a metaphysical space. The wall is built by air bricks and the pavement doesn’t even bear a shadow, as if we are dealing with a glamourous ghost who’s free to  move around, hovering on a higher coating of reality.

Michael Carson feels at ease with space & time, reality & perception, the one & the many. But his paintings are not only about these beautiful, lonely crowds. He is also very good in concentrating on the single person, in this case replicating the same woman on different paintings. His muse is never completely painted, and this is a trick to let her dissolve and reappear in the next canvases, as an independent spirit who’s free to move among the spacious and brightly lit halls of Art. We are publishing some of Carson’s paintings at Extraordinart, following a reversed order starting from the most recent work and ending up with some of his older ones. This is important for appreciating the artist’s gradual abandon of the classic thickness of the oil medium in favor of a more subtle, ironic, dripping paint. And this is Carson’s ultimate gimmick to warn us about the credibility of what is presented to our senses. The painting claims its own independence as an initial blank surface which, standing vertically in front of the artist, accepts to be filled by his amazing genius.

 

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