Thursday, January 27, 2011

Michael Shapcott

Michael Shapcott is 28 years old, and I feel for that young of an artist he has an amazing sense of who he is as an artist. Through his art you can tell that his background in school was illustration and fine arts. I feel he is a great contemporary artist that deserves to be recognized for his intense ideas. He takes bold risks with colors and his subject matter consists heavily of peoples’ faces that usually provoke a strong emotion. His process is something to be admired. Shapcott begins with what is called an under drawing: he uses graphite pencil in order to create an extremely detailed drawing of his subject. He then paints over it in color; he uses oil and acrylic paints that are very watered down in order to create a wash effect: you can see this on his works as you get a feeling of a sort of transparency and lightness about it. He calls this ‘Painting a Painting.’ He also is avid in using technology to show his work; he videos himself creating his works as a sort of document of progression, creation, and unique style. I think his mix of pencil, paint, and video make him an interesting artist.
Opal, 2009
8 x 10
Graphite / Acrylic / Oil on Illustration Board

Opal was done in 2009. Shapcott used graphite for his under drawing and used Acrylic and Oil paints for the color on top. In this, as in many of his drawings, there is an element of graphics included in the organic nature of the drawing. The white flowing lines are curvilinear and coincide with the curvilinear aspects of the hair. The colors, like all of his work, are absolutely brilliant. He uses unconventional colors to show value in his subject to create a 3D illusion on his 2D surface. You can see a sort of dripping effect on certain parts of her face and in the back ground; this is because of the wash effect that he does. His attention to detail within the use of his color in this piece keeps your eye moving and lets the viewer appreciate certain aspects. The eyes are bright, stark, cold, and wanting. Shapcott’s work always consists of incredible and powerful emotion; you never quite seem to be able to put your finger on the emotion his subject possesses, but you feel touched, as though she is looking straight into you, telling you what’s in her soul. The purple and blue underlays are easily contrasted with the deep orange that high lights and draws your attention to certain parts of her. I think this painting is an incredible example of his type of art.

Pele, 2009
12 x 16
Graphite / Oil on Canvas
Pele was done by Shapcott in 2009. This creates a much different feeling than that of Opal. The colors, although just as powerful, are different as well. It seems he has used the same blue, purple, and deep orange, yet it sends a completely different message. The brush strokes are much harder here. I this one, you can actually see the top of her torso where in Opal, you could only see her face, and her hand came up from an implied space. In this painting, the powerful eyes are in a golden color that plays off of the deep orange around her eyes, in the background, and on her skin. This subject also gives off a very strong emotion; it feels almost demonic in a sense. The splatter and hard strokes on her skin are quite scary, and the strength in her eyes feels as though she might be after you! The strokes show a very strong quality of line and I would venture to say that the dripping effect is also line. This contrasts with the form of the body which is organic and human. Again, this is another painting that fully shows how Shapcott’s love of drawing and painting has successfully come together in an incredibly impactful way.

Drift, 2007
43 x 63
Graphite / Acrylic / Oil on Canvas

Drift was created in 2007. The organic nature of the bubbles keep the eye moving across the painting because of the curvilinear line in creates. When he first was drawing and painting this piece, he had it vertical, but when he finished, he decided he liked it better on its side. I feel that although he came by the idea on accident, it had to have been a conscious decision to keep it sideways. It makes the viewer look at the human subject in a different way. The face is also very emotionally charged. The wrapping of the neutral colored sheet also sends a message. The figure looks very reserved, almost sad at what the world is behind her. Her arm is holding the cover over herself, but it also near to her heart, as if she is clutching it. I think this painting is a great mix between graphic and illustrative design, and humanistic design.    Drift, 2007: time lapse
This website is an example of his video work. It is the time-laps of Drift. Technology and video have become a great art form, and the way that he uses video to document his work is a great idea. And I think he shows this to his audiences, not only to show his progress, but to actually use technology in a creative way. His methodology is incredible to witness!
Michael Shopcott's home page is:
Visit it!!

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