Mike AckerBoyes Hot Springs, CA
I love light, I love images and love to make and manipulate images. I am utterly fascinated by my immediate environment, built and natural. My fascination extends also to the history of that environment. I can’t help but notice, and notice and notice; and record, and collect, and manipulate. My curiosity is endless. I detect the patterns in what I see and then I overlay my own patterns. All of these aspects play out in the imagery and techniques I use to make my art.
I developed my current technique of printing images on paper and then assembling them into larger works as a means to express my reaction to what I see and collect. I start with photographs, digital or scanned. Multiple photographs, from multiple angles and distances, are made into a composition in Photoshop. I then print the composition onto many pieces of water color paper, which I physically collage together and paint on. Subsequent prints are collaged over what is there, a kind of “over-painting,” resulting in a densely layered piece with three dimensional qualities. From a distance the work has a unity, but, on close inspection, reveals a rich field of seams and overlays, drips and water marks. Three levels of marks are usually evident: computer generated, paper edges, and those inherent in the photographs. It is often an eye-pleasing game to distinguish among them.
The overall image works on several levels: as a composition, as a manipulation of paper and paint, and as a distillation of an essence of the subject. It teases the eye and mind with distortions of “obvious” images. My images are intended to make visible the many layers of information embedded within.
With visual art we receive, interpret, and create information that can be expressed in no other way. Art, for me is a continuous process of feedback in which I am constantly revealing new meaning to myself and re-incorporating it into new work. I am gratified when an audience finds this as engaging a process as I do.
I started painting in my teens, went to art school, became a sculptor, got an MFA, did some public commissions and shows in the Bay Area, was a founding builder of the Burning Man, dropped out of art, moved to Sonoma Valley, started doing photo/collage with an historical element. I am Currently up for a Creative Work Fund grant and I have just been awarded my second Pollock-Krasner grant. I Just finished a public installation at the Sonoma Community Center.
In July, 2011, I organized the celebration of the centennial of the Boyes Hot Springs post office. I designed the official cancellation and a commemorative envelope, as well as coordinating volunteers and participation of the USPS, US Rperesentative Lynn Woolsey, and local businesses. I designed and produced a show of historical photographs for the event. I received mention in the Congressional Record for my efforts.
Earlier in 2011, I designed a 36'x10' mural for the Sonoma Valley Grange building.