The Artist

Michael Farmer

                         Michael Farmer


I paint dualities. My art is the study of contrasts, dichotomies. It thrives in the boundaries between light and dark, optimism and nihilism. I work with forces that are both contradicting of and inherent in one another. I manifest these forces in my canvases, weaving together symbolism, meaning, and abstraction. With my brush I express both conflict and symbiosis, and give form to ideas that defy capture.



In his youth Michael was exposed to the surrealist painters Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali on a trip to the National Gallery in Washington D.C. He instantly fell in love. The imagery was so unusual, so powerful. He got a calendar of each artist in the gallery gift shop. From that point forward Michael collected every poster and book of the surrealists he could. When he picked up painting he knew he wanted to make artwork like the ones he had seen on that museum trip so long ago.

As Michael continued to paint he became interested in the Renaissance master Caravaggio. This led him to books describing the techniques of the Old Masters of western art. He adapted techniques he learned to the surrealist method of automatic painting. Michael would take dark earth tones in a thin wash and sketch intuitively on the blank canvas without a preconceived composition. He would then hone and develop these into shapes and figures, building dimensionality and volume. The results were paintings that existed somewhere between surrealism and abstraction.

At a pivotal moment in 2015 Michael decided that it was time to devote more time and energy into his art so he went back to school. While pursuing a teaching certification, he continues to paint in both abstraction and representational work. Since that point he has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions, garnering several jurors’ awards, an entering into private collections in Phoenix, New York, Connecticut, and Ireland