My purpose as a painter is to exercise the paint itself as a language to communicate themes of dualities, anxieties, feeling, and vision. These subjects float around each other in a single space, sometimes as half-formed or hidden thoughts. Each work created serves as an important stepping stone in the journey of self discovery. This creative process is a pathway that helps me understand more about myself, what it means to be a painter in this world, and how to survive in times of apprehension.
Mid-century motifs and concepts often appear in ways to voice feelings of dissimulation, where the clean and pristine mask underlying darknesses. I am interested in the other side of the human condition, how it is presented, where it goes, and the roles that we as people in a society construct to make it all function (or fail). Through graphic elements such as sign work, fabrics, or patterns I try to include our fixations with material objects, and how we relate to them. I want to showcase how they can become extensions of ourselves- how I am expressed by my painting.
Keeping this authenticity as a painter is critical. The relationship to the paint itself is something I recognize to be honored. I believe it is the key factor in aiding my examination of these ideas and themes that help prevent the narrowing of my self-awareness. Beneath the surface lies a different world, that other side, something that I am looking for that is unknown to me. Painting is the tool that motivates me to continue to hunt for it.
Work I regularly view/research include: Andrew Salgado, Natalie Frank, Jenny Saville, Gauguin, Klee, John Wentz, Lucian Freud, Lou Ros, Conor Harrington, Dan Voinea, Kristin Baker, Julien Spianti, Casey Baugh, Malcolm Lipke.
MICHELLE FONTAINE (b. 1987, Atlanta, Georgia) constructs paintings that embody mid-century American popular culture, concentrating on the dualities of the human condition. Her usually larger scale expressive and colorful collaged figurative narratives have initiated a small presence in Athens, Georgia where she currently lives. After attending schools in Chicago, Atlanta, New York City, Michelle has completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts with concentration in Painting at the University of Georgia Lamar Dodd School of Art. She has shown in restaurants and local venues in Atlanta/Northeast Georgia (+ surrounding areas) and Athens, and has been published in online blogs/groups such as The Quiet Life (2009) RAW Artists (2013) and Café Apollonaire with the Georgia Fine Arts Academy (2014).
Michelle has lived and worked in Athens, GA since 2011.