Tuesday, March 23, 2010

my painting professor passed away

Michael Brakke was my painting Professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in the early 1990's. I took his Intro. to Painting class at a time in my life when I left my dysfunctional family to find a happier way to live. I left my family and their foolishness behind in Memphis, TN while I went on to become an artist, a woman and myself in Knoxville. I met people who transformed my future and made me the strong artist and leader I am today. Michael Brakke was one of the people who molded me, he was actually the first adult to guide me in an artistic and powerful way. Mr. Brakke and I had a lot in common, we both suffered immense family abuse and the pain that follows a dangerously dysfunctional family. We shared a kindred spirit through the power of our ability to express ourselves through our painting. I will miss him dearly and his mark on this earth will leave a bittersweet stain like a giant bruise on the brightest, biggest, juiciest, reddest apple. His knowledge and wit and sheer size (the man was vary, very tall) were impressive and his artwork followed suit. R.I.P., you will always be my art hero.

Michael Brakke received his M.F.A. from Yale University. His work has been exhibited at numerous galleries and museums including The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The High Museum, Atlanta; and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. His work has been the subject of reviews and articles by Jack Burnham, Judith Russi Kirshner, Peter Frank, and James H. Beck, in publications including Art Forum, The New Art Examiner, Arts Magazine, Art News, and Art in America. He has received several grants including a National Endowment for the Arts Grant. His current work uses materials ranging from cast polyester resin to computer modified or generated images output as Iris prints which have been included in group shows at the Bill Maynes Gallery, New York, and have been the subject of a solo exhibition at the Santa Fe College of Art.

(This image of his work is from the University of Tennessee Art Department faculty website)

"Intercessory. Law of the shadows."
Miscast polyester resin, Lego blocks and trees 15" x 15" x 20" -. 6" x 5" 1992-98

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