In 2002, Michele Mikesell earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a minor in graphic design from Texas Women's University in Denton, TX. Mikesell completed her Master of Fine Arts at the University of Oklahoma in Norman in 2004. Mikesell is a Dallas Artist who lives and works in Oak Cliff and is currently represented by Chiaroscuro, Sante Fe; JRB Gallery, Oklahoma City; Altered Space Gallery, Los Angeles; DECORAZON Gallery, London, and La Lanta Fine Art Bangkok, Thailand. Mikesell's work can be found internationally in many private and corporate collections, and has been exhibited in many National and International Art Fairs including Scope and Aqua Fair in conjunction with Miami Art Basel, Hong Kong Contemporary, Red Dot London, Art Santa Fe, and the Affordable Art Fair, Brussels, Singapore, and New York.
Creating individuals is what I find most interesting in the studio. It is my hope that these portraits will be familiar characters to the viewer, subjects we recognize and identify with. My work consistently travels along a general vein of the universal human experience. Recently human features have been introduced. Other aspects of this work directly reference the anthropomorphic petroglyph like characters in which I first based my interest in painting. These realistic stylized faces placed within loosely interpreted animal shapes and costumes narrate
a continued thesis of dichotomy and metaphor - comparing and contrasting human ideas with animal instinct. Irony, contradiction, humor and tragedy, have been continued themes in my work and are illustrated not only within the image, but within the actual paint and surface of the painting. Paint as color and paint as matter have always been central themes to my work. Removing paint throughout the process of creating an image is of equal or greater importance than adding paint. This method of wiping, scraping and sanding enables the apparent worn and built up surface to be paradoxically buried within a pristine and untouched surface, resulting in a contrasting yet uniform aesthetic.
I am influenced by a diverse and extremely eclectic group of different artists and movements including Abstract and German Expressionism, Art Informal, Children’s Art, as well as the 17th century Dutch masters and the current Pop Surrealist movement. I work with little or no pre-conceived finished piece. My process is a constant acting and reacting from and within the marks subliminally laid into the paint.