The Artwork of Michael Divine

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Why Art is Expensive :or: Pricing Your Art So You Can Live

First, I will say what this post is not. This is not about what gives art value. I’ve written other pieces about that and probably will again. Nor is this about, say, why a David Hockney painting sold for $90.3 million. That question there isn’t ‘why is art expensive’ but ‘why is it SO expensive’ and that question has also been answered elsewhere.

Instead, we’re simply going to talk about the cost of a work of art as an equation of what goes into it, what one (in this case, the artist) should reasonably expect to get out of it, and how that creates the space for further explorations.

The Bricklayer’s Dream

The-Bricklayer's-Dream

Every painting I make is this months-long meditation on an idea or melody or a feeling. Each moment and movement – every visual motif and swath of color – is a thread that should be relative to the overall storyline. In some paintings, like Only Love Can, the threads lead to the highest most beautiful moment I can feel that has ever been felt (within the boundaries of the vision). The painting becomes this ever rising aria of light and beauty and love and joy and, ultimately, it’s…

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The Tyranny of the Real

When, as an artist, you choose to include ‘the real’ in your work – and I mean actual real objects or even just corners and elements thereof – you know, things like faces or noses or hands or leaves or cornices – you’ve stepped into the territory of ‘having something to say’ because now we are creating relationships. No object exists within a vacuum. All things have some meaning.

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Why Visionary Art

There are several essays available online exploring the question of what constitutes “visionary art” (Here is one by Lawrence Caruna and here is another by Alex Grey). For the sake of our discussion here, I’ll add an abbreviated definition so we can have a point of departure for the conversation to follow and the topic I explore in this essay: the WHY of Visionary Art – why do the artists who undertake this style feel it worthwhile and what place might it serve in the world. What is visionary art? Visionary art is, I think, an approach to creative work that…  READ MORE

5 Tiny Visions

This Saturday, July 7th at the Hive Gallery in Los Angeles is the opening of a show called “Tiny Visions”. Alongside the pieces below are works from Violet Divine (my amazing wife), Martina Hoffmann, Allyson Grey, Radhika Heresy, Dan Cohen and a bunch of others (maybe two dozen other artists?) Small (tiny) paintings like this allow for a kind of intimacy of the experience. One can imagine it at 4 or 5 feet tall but instead they are these delicate little portraits of dream-like ideas and core moments. Hopeful Acrylic/Canvas 4″ x 4″   Parsifly Acrylic/Canvas 7″ x 5″   Thoughtful Acrylic/Canvas…  READ MORE

Interview on Inside the Rift

I had the pleasure of sharing some thoughts about art, nature, and humanity on InsidetheRift.com “There’s no time for ego games or marketing plans when it comes to art making. It’s just art. It’s you and your chosen materials and your vision, your inspiration. You have to cut through all of the mind-games if you want to make something really wonderful.” Read it here: https://www.insidetherift.net/art/2018/4/13/the-interplay-michael-divine-on-art-nature-and-metamorphosis

The Emotional State of the Image

“I painted picture upon picture in keeping with the impression made on my eye in a moment of heightened emotion – painted the lines and colours that remained fastened to my inner eye… By painting the colours and lines and shapes I had seen in an emotional state – I wished to recapture the quivering quality of the emotional atmosphere like a phonograph.” – Edvard Munch This. A painting I make is based upon an impression made upon me by the experience of an emotional state. It is to be seen as if listening to a song.

Where Do We Go From Here?

A question I received from a fellow artist:

“I want to sell my images; I have portfolio books, am a shameless self promoter; gallery experience; trade show experience – all I want to do is paint. Who should I introduce myself to? What advice can you give me please?”

Who indeed!

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“Morphic Awakening” – Rise of the Butterfly

This painting is made in collaboration with Layla Love, a photographer and human rights activist. The painting is part of a show in NYC titled ‘Rise of the Butterfly‘.The show aims to raise money and awareness for issues around and the ending of sex slavery and human trafficking.I have a small blurb accompanying the piece. It reads: There’s no pretty way to say this; no way to look away or ignore it. This: a painting born from the sweetness of my studio, speaking to and of unfathomable human despair. But here it is. Here it is. And that despair cuts through it like…  READ MORE

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