Au Gallery : Gold Gallery

Michael Azgour

Artist Statement:

My paintings explore the ubiquity of photography in contemporary culture and the numerous ways images enter our personal space. I refer to images as a way to peer into our collective experience in a fast-paced digital world. The concepts and subject matter of my work rely notably on my travels and experience as an outsider in a foreign country, Having spent several years in Eastern Europe, I regularly look to my paintings to resolve cultural disparities, fusing ideas and images I've accumulated along the way.

Even though we live in a globalized world in which so much is standardized, the customs and values differ immensely from one country to the next. I juxtapose seemingly unrelated elements as a way to exemplify these differences using paint as a form of metaphor or hyperbole. Dichotomies are frequently employed as a way to highlight distinctions. Light emerges from the darkness, the crude becomes delicate, and the abstract becomes real. In this way, I aim to create works which are rich in content yet open to interpretation, so each viewer might have a unique experience of their own.

My process of composing works and layering paint calls attention to the divergent paths painting and photography have taken in the past century as fine art mediums. Although I am to strike a different chord in each painting, there are some common themes that run through the breadth of my work such as: references to digital photography and video, representation of memories as fleeting recollections, and the process of paintings as a subject itself.

Biography:

Michael Azgour is an actively exhibiting artist known for abstract figurative paintings that reflect upon fleeting moments within the human condition. Azgour's award winning paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museums in the United States and Europe, including solo shows at Art Museum of Los Gatos and Robert Green Fine Arts in California, as well as Art Fairs such as artMRKT San Francisco , Silicon Valley Art Fair and Los Angeles Art show. His work is part of dozens of collections, including a recent commission by Stanford's Packard Children's Hospital. Michael is a part-time faculty member at Stanford University.

Azgour's works are expressive and geometric abstractions informed by an involved process that combines a strategic, realistic technique with pattern and repetition and the muse of accidental surprise. His figures seemingly float with one foot firmly planted in the present while the other wafts into the past. Paint becomes pixel, blur or distortion mirroring the disconnected snapshots and video clips that populate our social media profiles, He challenges the viewer's interpretation by combining unrelated imagery in the same composition. Although the disparate visuals and juxtaposed compositions appear random, they are in fact bits of narrative from the artists's own life and travels.

Azgour is a lecturer at Stanford University, teaching drawing and painting courses for the Architectural Design and Continuing Studies programs. HIs teaching experience has included a wide array of subject matter within the visual arts, primarily in painting and drawing but also in graphic design, architectural drawing, professional practice, and art/design history.