BREMERTON, WA | Painting
Michael Laughlin is an artist working in both digital media and the tradition of classical portraiture. He is accomplished in painting, drawing and sculpture, and his work has been exhibited internationally. Among Michael’s many influences, the artists he most admires are Michelangelo Merisi de Caravaggio, Jose De Ribera, Norman Rockwell, and Lucian Freud. It is in the traditions and techniques of these masters that Michael documents the human form. He pays tribute to those whose bodies show the spectacular damage of life’s struggles, victories, punishments and rewards, celebrating those who live with HIV. Michael’s digital works deal with issues in visual culture, memes and obsolescence. Each work presents a subliminal narrative populated with a familiar yet masked cast.
My current digital art series Overlook examines the entropy of visual culture and the discord of perception under the current trends in delivery of visual information. When once we consumed visual information, now we glimpse the visual stimuli, scrolling past with a dismissive glance. As the innate desire to observe slowly erodes, it creates a vacuum that is filled with an insatiable need for more visual stimuli. The Overlook series deconstructs how our culture consumes imagery by masking iconography within layers of line, shape, color and rhythm and rendering them obsolete.
Overlook is a critique of a willingness to adapt to new sensibilities in observation. Its intention is to provoke the viewer to seek out what is familiar yet veiled by dissonance, and invites the viewer to engage with misleading, misplaced, irrelevant, fragmented and superficial information. In this, Overlook is an attempt to mimic media.