Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mike Adams' Art

My first photos (below) did not do justice to the art, especially their layered three-dimensional depth. So I tried again, at an angle and without flash. It's a little better. This is a small sample of a diverse body of work.

Mike Adam's art decorates my new apartment. Some of it. His crowded studio room overflows with his work, art upon art, “non-objective abstract three-dimensional art,” he calls it. I say it’s beautiful but he corrects me: “beautiful” it isn’t. Yes, I see what he means. Beautifully executed, beautiful colors, beautiful ideas, but more complicated than merely “beautiful.”

Mike's multi-varied art is detailed, emotional, layered, inspired. It's rhythmic, too, like music on canvas, or like a pumping heart. Sometimes it's tortured, like the complicated wiring of a brain on overload; sometimes peaceful, like a respite for the afflicted in a serene garden; sometimes both in the same piece of work, always the complex interior world of this talented artist.

Mike Adams is my daughter Michelle’s partner. They’re having a baby boy, Chase, in September. In preparation, Mike has painted a large, beautiful, oops, I mean stunning and dramatic, mural for his first child. It’s like a large colorful map for a child’s journey, full of animals and symbols, paths and byways, imagination and hope. It pays homage to Michelle’s other three children, too, Alli, Josh, and Kyle, part of a growing Adams and Cary clan in Sylvania, Ohio.

Mike also experiments with clay, watercolor, figurative painting. He is full of ideas. Sometimes his body doesn’t cooperate, his MS takes a hold, but he paints through the pain and the agony. He puts it on canvas for us to witness. When I view Mike's paintings I see, for the first time, what MS is like, what it is like for him, what it was like for my cousins Skip and Maria.

As complicated as Mike's work is, a viewer is drawn in, and this even though the art sometimes pushes us away. “Beautiful it isn't.” Multi-layered, bold, sensitive, masterful and meaningful it is.

Mike's art opens a whole new world. I hope he continues to paint and exhibit (and organize and put up a website) after Chase is born, although he is looking forward to being a full-time dad. I don’t see how he could stop his art, though. It’s in his blood, his veins, his arteries, his wiring, his heart. "It is who I am," he says simply.

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