Today we’d like to introduce you to Paul Michael.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I grew up in the small town of Brenham Texas and have painted for as long as I can remember. I loved the art community of Houston and was involved with a few of the art programs. In 2013 I was invited to attend the Western Art Academy and a year later at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo one of my paintings, The Procession, was sold at the live auction.
I then had an opportunity to attend art school in Connecticut at Lyme Academy College of Fine Art and have been studying there for the past four years (I am now in my final semester of senior year). I now work for a painting conservator helping in painting and frame restoration.
I’m looking to continue my studies at the graduate level and hope to continue to make work that blurs the line between the real and virtual world.
Please tell us about your art.
For over a year now I have been painting and sculpting inside virtual reality. It’s been a transition going from traditional art making to digital. For my senior project I am creating 12 virtual reality (VR) art installations. I sculpt and draw objects that are familiar to me and combine them in virtual landscapes to create unexpected narratives. It’s a really interesting experience working in digital space using VR, I have a virtual palette and can draw and sculpt in 3D.
These virtual installations are a kind of self-portrait based on my own consumption and production of time and material. The floating and often large-scale objects reference the things that are touched, seen, smelled, tasted, and interacted with repeatedly. I also include data relating to my other art projects in the scenes like the amount of time it took to create a specific drawing or the total Instagram likes from a specific post.
My goal is to create a space where viewers are encouraged to explore and make discoveries. When visitors stop by my studio space and investigate the artwork I get the chance to visit one-on-one with people and see what parts of the landscapes they want to explore. Everyone has a different place they want to travel to in the VR space and I enjoy how conversational the experience is with each visitor.
In addition to my visual artwork, I also create techno and dance music, my new album, HNDRCKSN Remixed just released on iTunes and Spotify. I actually used some of my VR drawings to create the music video for one of my songs.
Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
I think it’s important for artists to connect and collaborate with the communities they inhabit. The internet has opened and extended the boundaries of my community dramatically. I have the ability to sculpt in real time with other artists while inside VR, share progress videos of my art installations with other artists through VR artist groups on Facebook, and I can even walk into other people’s artwork by downloading it through websites like Google Poly or Sketchfab. It’s a really exciting time to be a virtual artist.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Photos, videos, and 3D models of my art installations can be found on my website at www.spaulmichael.us
My music can also be found on my website or on Spotify/iTunes.
- Website: www.spaulmichael.us
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: spaulmichael
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/spaulmichael/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/spaulmichael?lang=en
- Other: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4FsyegaiZvYZnfARtPpP3E?si=fhwixtc6Q5-YzHfVSUBkYg
All images are of my artwork.