Michael Tole

Gallery Affiliations: Conduit Gallery

Region: West

Website: http://michaeltole.com

City / State: Tempe, AZ

Walking through the Louvre in Paris, one would think the tourists were more interested in having photographic proof of their encounter with the Mona Lisa, than with actually seeing it first hand. Scores of people view the entire museum through the LCD screen of their video recorders. It seems obvious that the experience is of its reproduction, yet there the tourists stand, before the actual object, consciously rejecting it in favor of a reproduction and oblivious to the difference. I incorporate this perversion of priorities into my own work.

I am like the tourist who takes snapshots of unfamiliar lands with the intention of later “immortalizing” them in painting; yet it is the curious transformation upon the successive reproductions that I seek. Although ambivalent about the original objects themselves, I am intrigued by the inadvertent relationships that arise from their contrived presentation.

This quizzical intrigue combined with the space created by that final stage of reproduction creates a meta-world of smiling subterfuge and tenuous beauty.