I make objects that are very dimensional, not always frontal, and sometimes incorporate very familiar imagery… I don’t think that contemporary objects tend to function through formal philosophies. Maybe, to some degree, line, color and shape act directly on psychology, through what is called “significant form”… Paintings are always objects within a system of objects, and my paintings create a kind of microcosmic system of objects (toys, mazes, symbols and painting materials), which although familiar within their own contexts, might combine into an overarching system of familiarities that create a kind of transparency of their own.
- Mike Cloud
Michael Cloud takes on painting from a systematic approach. In the past using mathematical formulas to transform an old mater still life into a geometric abstraction and arranging brushstrokes according to the logic of the color wheel and the physical qualities of the paint, Cloud employs a methodical structure to his paintings as a means of superseding the virtuosity that is often linked to the medium of paint. Cloud believes that a fundamental part of being a painter is to question the boundaries of painting both formally and conceptually. In keeping with this belief, he uses unconventional materials including gridded surfaces cut from aluminum, children’s toys and board game pieces to build his paintings, often times crossing into a more sculptural realm.
Evident in his edition Large Abstract, the grid is a recurring element through which Cloud implements an orderly abstraction. Connected to his methodology of formulas and systems, the grid has been the basis of two series of paintings. In addition, Cloud regularly uses iconic imagery so as to engage in another sort of system based in symbolism.
Cloud grew up in Chicago where he attended the University of Illinois at Chicago for his BFA. He received his MFA from Yale University and now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, teaching at Brooklyn College.