Mike Cloud

Chiaro Award, 2015

Artist Statement

What are the conditions of painting’s contemporary life among countless reproductions, symbols and descriptions of reality? What is the extent of painting’s ability to render other objects aesthetic even as those objects translate painting into words? I believe that part of the skill of a painter is in proposing questionable boundaries. These conceptual boundaries are part of the politics of painting. I am interested in the contrivance of painting (distinct from other useful objects) and its language. Through my work, I want to locate my complicity in its system of functions.

While At Headlands

In the age of self help and selfactualization the line is blurred between what we want to ‘get’ (money and respect) and what we want to ‘do’ (be courageous and kind). There is a tenuous distinction between the ‘hero’ and the ‘winner’. While at the Headlands, I will be exploring this subject through a series of paintings on paper that function as a diary. In this diary I am interested in the distinction between ‘losing’ (e.g. “I have a small penis and a shit job”) and ‘failing’ (e.g. I’m afraid to make any art I think might go unappreciated”).