Michael Spouse’s art ranges from serious portraiture, to abstract minimalism and landscape, to pocket universes of the whimsical and surreal. Blending elements of collage, illustration, and photography, Michael creates images that challenge you to step outside the familiar into a place where light, itself, is a buttery fluid that soaks into surfaces, illuminating them from within.
A straight, sepia-toned print of a wooden dock looks like nothing more than a snapshot of… well, a wooden dock. Until you notice the preternatural clarity of the nail holes, the halated whiteness of the painted stencils on the wood, the acute dimensionality of the metal cleat, or up in one corner, the water waves frozen in motion. And you realize this deceptively simple snapshot-like image has given you one of those crystalline glimpses of the extra-ordinary that sometimes come spontaneously.
A lilac field on a hillside becomes a riot of color in which Van Gogh would feel right at home, with stark shadows on a line of fence posts warping the flat color fields into a dimensional vortex that pulls you in.
Somewhere in between these extremes are pieces that Michael calls “narrative portraiture“, intimate yet mysterious glimpses into the unknown (but, you suspect, inherently interesting) lives of strangers.
Having worked in the arts professionally for over 25 years, Michael became co-owner and curator of the respected eklektikos gallery in Washington, D.C. During the following decade, he served as curator for hundreds of shows, including exhibitions on behalf of several embassies and art organizations in the DC Metro area.
It was during this tenure that Michael turned away from his signature abstract style and began producing his narrative portraiture. The new work received glowing reviews in publications including the Washington Post, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Baltimore Sun, and others.
Following a natural progression, Michael’s work now explores digital photography and digital collage, such as the pieces you’ll find gracing Griffin’s limited edition of Designer Series cases.
Michael’s original work can be found in private collections across the United States, Europe, Canada, and South America, and in fiine art galleries across the United States. And you can see more of his work and find out more about the artist at his website, SprouseArt.com.