Statement

I am a Canadian artist working in New York City since 1995. I use the different mediums of acrylic paint, ink and pencil in creating different bodies of work. Arriving in New York City, I was an active participant in the vibrant Williamsburg 90s visual art community and worked as an assistant to both famed SoHo gallery owner Holly Solomon, the estate of Gordon Matta-Clark and worked and preformed with the legendary new media artist Nam June Paik. Keeping studios in the city for over two decades, my most recent exhibitions include "The Journey: grids, color and curvilinear forms, 2004 to 2020" at the David Richard Gallery,"Painting works" ChaShaMa, "Hard Edged" Bronx River Art Center and "Formation" Spartanburg Museum of Art. I am currently working in my South Bronx studio where my imagery is informed by the architecture and physical reality of the local walls and bridges. I am creating different bodies of work on both canvas and paper which are contiguous with one another and encompass my main themes. The subjects of architecture, construction, demolition and urban textures were born out of the enormous growth and development in the Toronto I saw growing up. This visual environment has formed my concept of abstraction as an activity of continual process. I continue to view painting as a construction site of ideas, in the process of becoming something, like a city itself. My process begins from a simple sketch, photo, or general idea that I often garner from both my own photographs and cultural books I am reading. These are then realized into a series of images on the canvas or paper. I work in this manner to allow myself an open time and space to stretch out visual ideas without a definitive stopping point. In recent years, interests such as built forms in the insect world and the mutable nature of deteriorating structures focus my works on the color, texture, and line of urbanization and recently the natural upstate NY environments that I’ve experienced. My painting is also fueled by my love of contemporary and historic art, graffiti and the live jazz music that I have access to here in New York City. These drive my vision to always develop and change.


BIO

Mike Childs (Canadian, b. 1965) received his BFA from the University of Guelph, Canada, and an MFA from Florida State University. He is the recipient of several awards including 2002 and 2021 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grants, the 2022 Bronx Arts Council award and a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Award. At 26 he received an award to live, paint and teach in Florence, Italy from Florida State where he absorbed the murals and architecture of the medieval city. He has had numerous solo and two person shows since his first solo show in 2005 at the Cue Foundation of Art curated by Cameron Martin. He maintains a studio in the south Bronx where he draws inspiration from the architecture and walls since 2011. Recent shows at; The Bronx River Art Center, 2021, David Richard Gallery NY 2020 and 2021, The Spartanburg Museum of Art, SC, 2021,the Wave Hill Gallery 2019 and the Heidi Cho Gallery, NY in 2008 curated by Rafael DiazCasa. In 2020 during the pandemic, he and artist Melissa Staiger created an ongoing 8 artist curatorial collective Streaming which premiered at the Stand 4 Gallery in 2021 His work has been reviewed by Roberta Smith and Holland Cotter in the New York Times, and recently by David Rhodes in the Brooklyn Rail.