Michael Wille

Region: Midwest

These paintings combine architectural remnants of Rome, gathered throughout a summer stay in the city. Utilizing the iconic Roman arch found in the terra cotta roof tiles throughout the Mediterranean, this tile is transformed within the confines of abstract painting. Our understanding of a given place is complex and ever-evolving. Reflecting on the socialization process of living in a new city, I consider my paintings to be analogous to this educational experience.

The initial read of each painting is heightened by the amount of time that a viewer looks at a painting. The subtlety in the painting itself forces the viewer to slow down and begin to contemplate the lived experience of a painting. The viewer can see both the top layer of horizontal bands of roof tiles that serve as a screen, as well as the nuanced and complex areas underneath the initial surface.

I freely roam in the territory between using paint as a material fact and using paint as a device to illustrate something outside itself. Consequently, depending on how the work is internalized, the painting becomes readable on many different levels, as the physicality of the materials undermines the illustrative qualities. While the image remains un-recognizable within the context of abstract painting, it can also be read as an illustration of something at the next glance. I want each image to move slowly towards association, yet have the potential to pull back at next glance.