From the Vaults: Michael Massenburg

all eyes on me

morning dawn

No Orleans No Haiti

evolve

time spend

Dwayne

Michael’s life as an artist is huge and multifaceted.  KCET featured him on their Artbound website with a wonderful article by Lynell George.  He is a curator (you’ve got one week), arts commissioner, a community activist, a public artist, cofounder of an artists collective and Michael is a mentor.  But Michael is an artist whose art is just as multidimensional.  If Beyonce’s roots make a TexasBama, Michael’s are slaying the BeardeRauchenRain to say the least.  Rain, as in Derain the Fauve. Michael’s split complementaries are even more heart stopping.  To say the least because No Orleans No Haiti responds to the call so compellingly of John Biggers as it is a response to apathetic eyes on the devastation caused by natural disaster on Black country.  Michael Massenburg’s most recent body of work contains more economical palettes but are large and sweeping in movement.  The paces are slowed creating exquisite yet slightly dissonant ballads like with a small committed brass section.

For me, Michael’s art makes sense of this world, not one work of his is missing love nor memory of truth unelided, without which we can sanely exist.  Only in Massenburg’s Save Me do we wonder if this brother is the one that will do the saving.  Michael Massenburg’s work is included in the exhibit Skin at the Municipal Art Gallery until April 17th.

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