Vibrant, sharp, and stark with its dimensions, Michael Mahalak’s work has a way of making the viewer see the sum of its parts first before taking in the whole.
Or, at least, that’s how I feel in its presence. The beauty of Michael’s pieces is that they really are open to interpretation. They are dynamic enough to stimulate conversation, eye-catching, and intellectually immersive. His wall in Art House never fails to give me pause. Below, you’ll find that I had the pleasure of engaging him about his style and approach.
• Capturing nature in a style that could be likened to Cubism really does highlight the many, working mechanisms that make what appear to be simple systems more complex. What motivated you to choose nature as your subject?
What motivates me is what I see around me such as trees, animals, colors, or anything that comes to mind at the time.
• Will you please describe “Fractionalism” and how that became your signature style?
Referring back to my artist’s statement, I define Fractionalism as something like taking an object and dividing it up into different designs within the subject matter. In fact, the name to my style came about by a friend of my mine at church because it reminded her of mathematics. It became my signature style after a high school art assignment to create a painting in one of old master style.
Even in college, my style has gone through changes such as shade tones to give it more of an effects and the way I use my colors.
• Has your work been converted to stained glass? Is there a reason you would or wouldn’t be inclined to pick that as a medium?
My work has never been converted to stained glass. I wouldn’t be inclined to pick it as a medium anyway because I don’t know anything about doing stained glass.
• Do you think there is an abstract or philosophical bend to your work?
I believe there’s both abstract and philosophical bend to my work just by the way the viewer looked upon it. I’ve had people in the past comment on how beautiful my work is while others saw it as harsh, painful and very confining to them. When I create my work, I never think about what type of message which my style is reaching to the viewer. Maybe the message I’m expressing is basically about the way we view life. Fractionalism shows the problems of life which appears to be like pieces of shattered glass in a window. The shapes that the lines formed within the object itself give the feeling of being restricted & confined. When the viewer backs away to look at the colors and the use of lines will see something beautiful. So what I’m trying to say in my work is that life is hashed, confined, and painful at times, but life can be very beautiful too.
Thank you, Michael, for taking the time to give us some insight! Michael’s gallery can be found on his website at http://www.michaelrmahalakstudio.org/ or come visit his work live at Art House LV, 1229 S Casino Center Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89104.