Artist Statement

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Contact

LennonMichalski@gmail.com

Mistakes Making Traits

I am fascinated by how our culture is quickly merging with technology through the advancements of science. We are forced to innovate at a rapid pace because of injury or the fragile design of a human figure. There is an innate feeling in us that a limb or organ can be replaced or made more effectively and, as a species, we want to advance our bodies past any disability. Scientists and Innovators work to produce a device through bioengineering that capitalizes on replacing or repairing a damaged design, which does the job better than its predecessor. We are no longer willing to live with handicaps, performing alterations to Life with revolutionary technology and biological research to avoid them.

The advancements and research of bionic integration and biological engineering has greatly inspired my work. Hugh Herr, who lost his legs to hypothermia, is revolutionary in his research with bionic limbs and how electro-mechanics are attached to the outside of the figure and implanted inside the body. His research has helped handicap victims replace a phantom limb with a synthetic limb that moves like flesh and bone and feels like an actual living appendage. Biological engineering describes research done with stem cells to cultivate, refurbish, and enhance damaged organs. Surgeons are already using 3-D printers with implants for bone replacements, but now scientists are looking for ways to print organs and use cells as the printer ink.

A major part of painting for me is the relationship that I build through cultivation. I trust my process, looking to the unpredictable nature of the materials to offer guidance on concept and composition. The notion of “time” is felt in the stacking of numerous transparent layers applied to each piece. My paintings are not objects assembled by machines or other individuals; I develop a bond and communicate through the development of each work. This technique is based on a physical language; by pushing the paint with my hands, I am infusing my energy into the gestures. My work represents stories from human history and scientific research, but also develop a visceral sensibility that makes the painting feel “alive”. By working this way, I learn something new from each piece allowing my process to open doors I would have never thought to walk through.

My work reflects society’s attempts to evolve through science and innovation, showing the challenges we face when a person experiences disability. My imagery conveys a world where the line between organic and machine has become blurred, giving birth to factual situations integrating technology and the human form where the characteristics of the two are indistinguishable. I aim to depict mechanical apparatus resembling its living equivalent, functioning in architectural environments full of danger, beauty, and comedy. My work narrates the common struggles we have with the limited and fragile design of a human body. Advancements from technology are shown through repairs to war victims, amputees, and birth defects. Biological structures, timelines that evolve with repairs, and temperamental interactions between the human forms, adjusting to technological replacements, fill the picture plane. My ideas derive from humanity under the umbrella of science with technology and portraying possible advances with the joining of the two species.

Ghost Bike

As technology continues to advance, guiding the human condition through innovation and investigation, the relationship between man and machine becomes more evident. While this relationship can aid in the cultivation of efficiency, accuracy, and community, it can also expose the fragile nature of the human figure. This body of work “Ghost Bike” takes a specific look at Motorcycles, considering the uniqueness that describes the machine, the man that chooses to indulge in that machine, and the nature of their relationship.

The imagery in the series considers motorcycle accidents to represent their dangerous cultural association. I specifically chose the motorcycle, the imagery, and popular icons to reflect my personal engagement with this idea. My grandfather was killed on a motorcycle, and this has largely inspired these pieces in the hopes of bringing attention to the motorcycle to provide an understanding of their own distinctive culture. Even when these tragedies strike, society often places blame on the cyclist, for they have willingly put themselves in harm’s way. Motorcycles are largely considered unsafe and rebellious in the eyes of the public because of the sense of vulnerability and danger associated with motorcycles. In an effort to define the broad spectrum of this machine’s interaction with the human condition, I sought to understand why so many individuals crave to connect with it.

I realized that engagement with motorcycles cultivated an undeniable sense of community. Motorcyclist feel passionately about their investment in this machine, creating a strong bond between, not only the machine and its owner, but everyone who rides. In order to incorporate this idea of community, I created works that also represent this aspect of motorcycle culture. I examine the documentation of a group of cyclists traveling cross country to pay tribute to the fallen. Rather than viewing the death of the biker as a careless rebel, he is considered a fallen hero, who deserves the greatest of respect. Within the motorcycle community there is boundless devotion, which allows for the machine to act as a tool in eliciting genuine human interaction.

A major part of painting for me is the relationship that I build through cultivation. I trust my process, looking to the unpredictable nature of the materials to offer guidance on concept and composition. The notion of “time” is felt in the stacking of numerous transparent layers applied to each piece. My paintings are not objects assembled by machines or other individuals; I develop a bond and communicate through the development of each work. This technique is based on a physical language; by pushing the paint with my hands, I am infusing my energy into the gestures. I learn something new from each piece allowing my process to open doors I would have never thought to walk through.

Through the creation of digital work, paintings, and sculpture, I hope to bring attention to the motorcyclist so that the sense of community motorcycle culture creates can continue to thrive. The motorcycle acts as a metaphor to represent the motorcyclist himself, with the engine acting as the heart of the individual, and the community. While many have fallen victim to the unpredictability of this machine, it uniquely acts as a tool to cultivate relationships, activate commitment, and instill a sense of community.