Wk 9 – Artist Interview – Michael Rollins

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This 9th week’s artist interview was one that was equally captivating as the ones before. The artist was Michael Rollins with his very own exhibit called New Digs. Michael’s work deals with oil on canvas that show intricate patterns or soft swirls that seem to flow straight out of a dream. It is very colorful and a lot seem to be going on in each painting yet there seems to be some sort of order amidst the chaos. Looking at the paintings, I feel like each part is exactly where it needs to be and fit in really well. I later found out that each painting that was on display usually takes a month to complete. That was impressing to me and I thought about how much time, effort, and devotion goes into each piece. Furthermore, Michael often undertakes two or three paintings simultaneously. It was hard for me to imagine how such a thing could be possible. Wouldn’t you forget where you left off when dealing with multiple works? When asked, Michael stated that he is able to switch his train of thought across the multiple ongoing works. It’s also beneficial as he can borrow or carry over ideas from one to another.

Currently, Michael tries to focus on one art work at a time to avoid “mistakes”. I put quotes around mistakes because I did not fully understand what he meant. He could easily make multiple mistakes on his works and I would not notice because of how intricately everything seems to blend together in a seamless manner. So there really is some sort of order or plan to his pieces? Besides, I have always believed that art is one’s expression so mistakes are irrelevant. How can you say someone’s expression is a mistake? Simply let art take you where it wants to go. Michael stated that art is like “problem solving” because of how you overcome all the obstacles and how you organize your works. He also brought up a very interesting point of how painting theoretically shouldn’t be here anymore because of the prevalence of modern technology such as photography. The fact that this hobby called painting still exists must mean that it still holds some value. Perhaps it could be a way of preserving our ancient tradition of expression through drawing it out ourselves instead of letting a camera shutter snap and instantly do all our work. Regarding his work, Michael tries to express without trying to express and simply feels his way through it.

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