Statement, 2005

Painting is a process that resonates within me.   My work ranges from: portraits & figures of people who may have little voices but loud messages; still life experiments of those ordinary unrevealed treasures; and more confrontational narrative pieces.

Many artists have inspired & influenced my work.  Kaethe Kolwitz, Bo Bartlett, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and the inspirations of Robert Henri are to name a few.

I wish to use my painting as a voice for social consciousness.  More than just documentary or commentary, I would hope the pieces speak to each view differently—speaking to them directly, sometimes soothing and sometimes unsettling.   

For those who are curious, many of the children painted here are wonderful kids that I know and have worked with in my support of a non-profit after school program in Washington, D.C.  Most of these kids live in or around public housing projects and grow up in high risk, easily ignored, existences.   There is a beauty in their faces to me when I paint their portraits, yet an underlying vulnerability that pains me. 

Michael WeiComment