MICHAEL OWEN: No Lifeguard
August 29 – September 30, 2006
Providence, RI – Gallery Agniel will exhibit a new series of small format oils on Mylar by Michael Owen during the month of September 2006. Owen’s photorealist paintings are scenes of America, a constant theme in the artist’s work. The paintings are developed from imagery culled from the Internet and the artist’s own snapshots. “No Lifeguard” is Owen’s very personal idea of America, his vision of a country as beautiful as it is broken. The exhibition runs August 29 – September 30, 2006 with a reception on Friday, September 8th, 2006 from 6 – 9 PM.
Michael Owen lives and works in Providence, RI. He is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design where he spent his final year in the European Honors Program. He received his BFA in Painting from RISD in 1990. Owen also holds an MFA from the New York Academy of Art, Graduate School of Figurative Art in New York from which he graduated cum laude in 2000. Owen has been exhibiting with Gallery Agniel since 1998.
The following is excerpted from a recent conversation with the artist about his work for “No Lifeguard”:
One metaphor that I have for this country is that of a car without a driver… I don’t just mean that our leadership is failing us. We are failing and have been for some time. That said, I still have deep affection for America and Americans, as confounding as they sometimes are… These paintings include images from my honeymoon and my childhood – things that I loved about growing up here – yet they are also full of my trepidation about where we’re going. The image of two soldiers in Iraq struck me with a sort of “what the hell are we doing?” resonance when I realized that those guys are National Guard reservists and they are me twenty years ago. They are the surfer girl and the kid going to the semiformal dance… The burning palm trees are similar to that car without a driver too. Here we have this incredible piece of real estate – the planet earth – and we’re literally cooking it…
In conjunction with Michael Owen’s solo show, a selection of silkscreen prints by Providence artists will be featured in the back gallery. Prints from the following artists will be featured: Andrew Moon Bain, Mat Brinkman, Brian Chippendale, Jo Dery, Leif Goldberg, Jungil Hong, Will Rodier and Erin Rosenthal among others.