My work addresses the complex fabric of a global society and how individuals fit into it. I work primarily with ink on paper, which I find to be an effective medium for conveying my ideas in a direct and precise manner. The content of my work is based in my youth as a punk rock skate kid, while much of my stylistic language comes directly from graffiti and music.
Street art has been a huge influence on me since I was fifteen, both in its form and its underlying assumption of empowerment and political expression. My life as a graffiti writer was abruptly halted when I was arrested in 2004. I served ten months in correctional facilities for my willful defacing of property with bright colors and big letters. It was during my incarceration that my current style of drawing developed. Through the rhythm of music and my confused mind, the drawings developed.
I feel that drawing is a very direct and “honest” means of creating an image. Much like the work of a graffiti writer or a musician performing live, any mistakes are evident for the audience to see. This demands an acute attention to detail and craft. Yet, because it is such a direct process, there is incredible freedom to improvise and react to my surroundings.
The current state of global affairs is impossible to ignore and is central to my work. My thoughts on world politics flow seamlessly into images of the most personal aspects of my life, as notes in a song transition into one another. I aim for the imagery to act as visual poetry; just as one line in a song does not tell a story, one image in my work does not create the meaning.
In a world that seems to be collapsing in on its self (whether you get your news from Fox or NPR), people are able to continue on with their daily lives. We all chase an “advertisement life” while our leaders wage wars on our behalf and at our expense. We are simultaneously a number in a system and an individual to those who know us. That is what I seek to capture in my work.
Artist Bio / CV
Mickael Elliot Broth has exhibited his intricately detailed drawings at a variety of venues over the past few years including solo shows at ADA Gallery, Richmond, VA; GFL Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; and Youngblood Gallery, Atlanta, GA. He has been included in multiple group exhibitions including the Weatherspoon Art Museum's "Art on Paper 2008", South Eastern Center for Contemporary Art’s “Homegrown 2007”, and the Contemporary Art Center of Virgnia’s “New Waves” exhibitions in both 2008 and 2009.
Mickael received his BFA in Painting and Print Making from Virginia Commonwealth University in December of 2005, but attributes most of his artistic education to the ten months he spent in correctional facilities for graffiti. It was during this time that he developed the skill and patience to create legal works that addressed the underlying reasons for his motivation to paint graffiti. Since his release from jail, Mickael has focused on both his fine art and the creation of murals and signage for local businesses. He currently lives and works in Richmond, Virginia and was awarded a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship Award in 2008 as well as jurors' awards for his work in the “New Waves” 2008 and 2009 exhibits. In 2009, the Boone, NC's Turchin Art Center purchased a piece of his work for their permanent collection. Mickael's work will be featured in the inaugural exhibition at Artisphere (Arlington, VA).