Swimming, 2019

Michael Ambron

Swimming, 2019
Acrylic, cellulose, pigment, crushed minerals and canvas glued to panel
24 x 24 in

My work engages perception within conscious and semiconscious states. As an individual with regularly occurring hallucinations, much of my practice is rooted in transcribing various elements of complex and abstract experiences. Most hallucinations occur just prior to sleep or immediately after waking up, typically, though not always, in a state of paralysis. I see flashing red lights, translucent webs of breathing diamonds, ovular membranes, shadow figures, and jittery cutouts that drift across the walls and ceiling. When the paralysis breaks, I scribble down some aspect of the event in the hope that it will lend access to the kinesthetic impressions left behind.

Painting and drawing provide ways for me to mark the event in order to affirm it. They are a testament of presence. The paintings are composed almost entirely of raw materials affixed to found substrates and often feel like scientific environments cultivated for the extraction of specific resonant forms. Eventually, however, as systems evolve, the conditions that evoke one kind of experience will elicit something completely different. Many of the paintings are dozens of layers deep and composed of hundreds of drawings. Their surfaces are compressed skins whose protruding contours reveal points of contact with once visible forms. The erasure, removal, and blocking out of various elements creates a tension between that which is familiar and present and that which is absent or obscure. The paintings become screens where eyes, words, jagged lines, and severed limbs repeatedly disrupt the unfolding structures of narrative and reanimate the visual field.

Michael Ambron lives and works in Queens, New York. He holds a BFA from Tyler School of Art and an MFA from The Ohio State University. Michael is a recipient of the Greater Columbus Arts Council Grant, The Fergus Memorial Scholarship, and the 2012 Dedalus Foundation M.F.A. Fellowship. His work has been exhibited by Ortega y Gasset Projects, Deanna Evans Projects, and Jeffrey Deitch in New York. Michael was a 2018 visiting artist at RISD for the group exhibition “Between the Clock and the Bed,” curated by Jennifer Packer. His work has been reviewed by David Cohen of Artcritical Online Magazine and was most recently featured in the 10th issue of Maake Magazine curated by Nickola Pottinger. Michael’s practice is concerned with the ritualistic cultivation of altered states of perception as a means of examining the structures of personal and collective consciousness.

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