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Both of my parents were artists and my father was a serious painter all the years I knew him. Many of their friends and colleagues at Syracuse University were artists, architects, or writers and our home was always a place with big, modern paintings on the walls and jazz on the record player. As a kid, I loved visiting my dad's studio. I liked the spattered dishevelment, the smell of paint, and the paintings that I couldn't fully understand, but instinctively grasped, as the works came to life. I knew at an early age that this was something I wanted to pursue. A sense of movement has been an important element in my work for a long time. Earlier pieces often conveyed a feeling of forms drifting in space. Then there was a shift toward using linear compositions to create direction. I wanted your eye to move along a variety of courses or circuits and have experiences along the way. I also found from my earlier collage work that I liked shapes in my paintings to have crisp, assertive edges, like those that came from using scissors. Currently, I’m using a lot of masking tape and more often than not, painting with a palette knife instead of a brush. Over the last few years, simplifying the forms and narrowing the parameters in my work has allowed me to make the paintings more focused, and to develop a more personal vocabulary. Ultimately, I’m always chasing that transcendent moment where color, shape, texture and movement come together in a way that‘s thrilling and right.
Michael Dwyer earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1985 from Syracuse University and his Master of Fine Arts degree in 1993 from the University of South Carolina. At both schools his area of study was Studio Arts, with a concentration in painting.