The Art of Michelle Robinson
Interviewed by The Dignified Devil
We love women as artists. The exploration of women through art is always dignified. This week we look at the art of Michelle Robinson, an artist exploring the female form through painting. Enjoy, gentlemen.
Tell me about your journey and desire to become an artist?
Michelle Robinson: I was always fond of art as a child; I had an attraction to colors and textures. As I got older my attraction veered toward the female form. When I was 15 years old I painted my first oil painting of a nude woman stretched out on a bright red coach. Something awoke in me that I had never felt before; it gave me new life, confidence, and from that painting on I knew I wanted to be an artist. It felt so natural…this was my true calling.
There’s something romantic about being an artist. It has given my life new meaning. I can hardly imagine life without it. But as liberating and exciting as this artistic life can be, it does come with ups and downs. There are many times where I’m playing tug of war with my passion. But at the end of the day this is what I truly love; this is the life I chose and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Of course I wouldn’t have gotten this far without support from my friends and family. I thank them with all my heart and soul.
Why the female form as a subject matter?
MR: Why not women? (Smiles) There’s something sacred and extremely alluring about the female form: a women’s capability to change her surroundings with just her sheer beauty and sexuality. There’s something very powerful that a woman holds. It can be subtle or obvious, either way, it’s there. I don’t mean to sound sexist, but I do believe we hold many truths. We give life and that is power.
When you sit down in front of a blank canvas or blank surface, what are you trying to say as you divide up space with color, form, and shape?
MR: It’s not about what am I trying to SAY to my viewers, but what am I trying to PROVOKE from them? I hope to awaken internal yearning: hope, constructive power, self-love, and confidence in one’s sexuality. What each finished piece means to me may translate a different meaning to the observer. I prefer to let every piece be an open interpretation. I apply a light coat of mystery.
What’s the best and the worst you have heard said about your work.
MR: The best? Well one comment that sticks out in my memory is, a woman said “If I could own and hang every piece of your art up on my walls, I would wake up happy, leave the house happy, and go to sleep happy!” Comments like that remind me why I do what I do. The worst? There has never been a critique I would consider in a worst category. I’ll be ready for it; I welcome it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. It’s how you react and absorb it that matters.
Artist Bio: Michelle Robinson was born an identical twin in Seoul, Korea in 1982 to a Korean mother and African American father. Shortly after her birth, the army based family moved to the United States where her parents split after a brief marriage. Michelle lived a somewhat nomadic life growing up, bouncing from one state to another with her two sisters and her single mother. “My soul never really had the chance to settle because as soon as we arrived it was already time to leave,” she explains, “But I thank every passing change, for they have made me who I am today and most importantly, they have made my art what it is today”. Michelle’s tumultuous upbringing has clearly molded her artistic style. “Each new city, new community and new feeling just added to my palette and influenced new ideas”. With only a High School diploma and her unyielding passion for her craft, Michelle continues to strive to leave her mark on the Los Angeles art scene. Michelle is obsessed with color, patterns and the female form. Natural or unfamiliar, loud or subtle, she creates whimsical interpretations of emotions suppressed and released by using the movement of the female figure as her wholly intriguing and revealing device. The forms carry on the undying notion of fertility, beauty, vulnerability, desire, weakness, seduction and power. Each angle of the body, be it a hand, leg or neck, helps to identify these characteristics. These figures float randomly on a spontaneously complex background of overlaying rhythmic patterns and tantalizing color harmonies. Her almost overwhelming use of repetitious curvilinear lines throughout her artwork helps connect each movement. Michelle describes her pieces as beautifully cluttered and untamed, but there is also a calm and sensual fluidity, that is carried out. Her art leaves the viewer trapped in a light air of mystery and playful enchantment. Her personal philosophy of art is constantly changing and shifting as she is influenced by the world around her. Michelle is an artist because of the endless possibilities of ideas, material and concepts. Her personal goal as an artist stems from everything around us; her interest lies with her senses, what she sees, hears, smells, touches and tastes. Her art is an ongoing conversation with the world around her and she tries to keep it animated. By the end product Michelle hopes to have laid a seed for other ideas to swell and other meanings that are formulated to intrigue her viewers. Follow Michelle Robinson on Tumblr, and her website.