Michael Frank

My recent series "BOTANIKA" is a collection of mental landscapes and abstract botanical illustrations. As an artist, I sometimes take my cue and inspiration from history; from 19th c. American landscape painters, to the scientific illustrations of the early explorers and naturalists mapping the new and unfamiliar. These inspirations help me to form a parallel conception of the strange territory of the dream landscape, where the dreamer or artist is the new explorer, mapping the interior of a rich personal dimension redolent with the haze of strange perfumes and infinite "depth" and meaning.

These images are purely digitally rendered with 3D imaging software and heavily manipulated in Photoshop, often involving hundreds of layers and several thousand objects and self-made models. My images have an intimate, introspective quality when printed on a small scale, yet, when printed at the full capacity of their resolution, they reveal a breadth of amazing detail, vibrating with a commanding energy and presence all their own. Some of my most ambitious images contain over 250,000 objects and exceed 8ft. in width or height.

Like an intransitive verb, the action in these images is subtle, implied, and probable. The viewer is invited to add to, (and complete) the narrative with their own associations. The narrative, of course, is nonlinear; images and objects repeat themselves, jumping forward and backward, briefly appearing here and there, or maturing elsewhere. Subconscious comprehensions can sometimes be quite abstract, defying rational explanations or words altogether. With my art I aim to provide a ground or space for the viewer to share in my own introspection and appreciation of the Mental Landscape.


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