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Kneeling for the Spirit

Michael Gute


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Kneeling for the Spirit

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This is a gestural approach to figures and animal life. The bull has assumed many rolls in mythology throughout time, and I like these themes that are timeless with accumulation of meaning.

36"H × 48"W × 1.5"D
oil on canvas


My work is generally about two things, (a) making pictures that move back and forth between reality and the past, and (b) mark-making as evidence of the body. I approach painting with a theatrical and expressive perspective, drawing from sources in art history, theatre and photojournalism. Different scenes dissolve into one another. For example, an image of a café owner closing his dinning room will bleed into a grove of mossy oak trees. Repetition of the figure is used to evoke authority and hierarchy in much of my recent work. I’m also interested in the themes of observance and powerlessness. I use painting, drawing and scratching veiled over one another to build an accumulation of experience and memory. I’m aware of my intuition and appreciate how the body and mind work in a choreography to mark the surface. Paintings validate the artist’s body. They are products of our performance as well as reinforcements of hope and faith. Hope stays the artist through the working of a painting and faith tells them it’s finished.

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