Artist Statement 2017

Modern buildings and unexpected color occurrences in the kaleidoscopic urban environment, the arbitrary placement of signage in the city, abstract painting from the late twentieth century, American folk art quilts, and a lengthy list of various other visual and musical influences all figure into my painting. It was the environment in which I grew up in of the Toronto of the 70’s.  Of central importance to the work is my interest in the presence of half built and half demolished buildings sites as a source for the conceptual point of departure and for exciting formal relationships.  I view painting itself as a kind of construction site of ideas, a thing to be built up but not completed and always in flux. 

My recent paintings employ abstract language of patterns, symbols, and structural references based upon preparatory photographs and sketches.  The images exhibit disharmonious colors, disjointed patterns and off kilter organic elements which can suggest opposing spaces. It is my fascination with this kind of dissected urban visual reference that I explore and which is the main theme within the work.  Abstraction, I believe, can be a reckoning with the constantly changing environment, allowing one to reflect on how as humans we negotiate a chosen space bound by our culturally dictated perspective.

Mike Childs