Two Great Shows at MICA (part 2): Michael Weiss

Posted on 12.11.2008

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above: Anchorage
mw-mw dot com

After viewing Abby’s work, I went to the much-anticipated showing of Michael Weiss. I’m not sure if the work was anticipated by anyone other than myself, but after weeks of walking by and not being able to stop to take it all in, I was glad to see it before it came down on Sunday the 9th.

This work just reaches out, grabs you and drags you in. Not quite large enough to be compared to the overpowering work of Rothko, one gets the same feelings viewing Michael’s work. There is contemplation. Change. Growth. A literal thought process illustrated, happening right before you. If they were larger, you would feel enclosed in them.

Michael’s statement discusses the idea of steam of consciousness. And I am relatively certain he has managed to elegantly portray that with this series. The images I took with my camera phone don’t do this work the justice it so rightly deserves. It is even hard to view these images on the website, because so much of their beauty is lost to the gentle RGB glow of the screens.

Yes, as always it is best to see this work in person. It is interesting to note that at first glance, my initial reaction after WEEKS of wanting to stop by was ‘It almost looked better from far away’… but then, after taking my time with each piece, I was able to see more of the subtleties and idiosyncracies that made themselves evident in each piece. The layers and small hints of color really add a lot of depth to what would otherwise be a flat series of images. While Anchorage definitely grabbed my attention and held it, other pieces like Talisman and Tribute were slow to grow on me but definitely grew to be favorites.

From my notebook the night of the viewing:
“…Odd to stand in front of something, knowing that you may never see it like this again, wishing you could take it with you and realizing the futility of that wish… all at the same time. I want my eyes to save images of how I see these at this very moment. Images arresting in their simple and organic complexity. I am better for having witnessed them. Such a basic idea interpreted by Weiss that made such beautiful tranquility. They feel absolutely positive and thoughtful. Camera phone does them no compliment at all…”

If that doesn’t sum up how I felt viewing this work, I don’t know what would.

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Posted in: art, mica, painting