Tag Archives: Michael Booker

MICHAEL ANDREW BOOKER interviewed by Something Curated

2 Dec

Interview: Artist Michael Booker On Drawing As A Mechanism Of Healing

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Hailing from Jackson, Mississippi, multimedia artist Michael Booker’s latest series of portraits depict partially shielded bodies, intercepted by swathes of colour and lush organic forms. Joining geometric patterns with figuration, Booker’s large-scale works are rich in dynamism and detail. Exploring drawing practice itself as a healing mechanism, Booker’s new exhibition, Veil at Morton Fine Art in Washington D.C, open now and running until 4 December 2021, documents the emotional terrains crossed by the artist amidst the pandemic and concurrent instances of social injustice. The exhibition’s title gestures towards the strategies of emotional self-protection harnessed by the artist during periods of vulnerability and contemplation, barriers made visible in the layered effects captured by the drawings themselves. To learn more about Booker’s practice and the new exhibition, Something Curated spoke with the artist.

Michael Booker, Retrograde, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art

Something Curated: Can you give us some insight into your background and how you first became interested in art-making?

Michael Booker: Since I was a kid, I had always been interested in art-making. When I was growing up, my sister experimented with various creative outlets, and I think some of that curiosity rubbed off on me. Back then I was always sketching, but I didn’t develop a serious artistic practice until I was much older. I pursued and received my BFA thanks to the support of a professor who helped me see a possibility of a career in art, even though at the time I still didn’t completely believe it myself. I applied to grad school for only two reasons: to find a way to get out of Mississippi and to continue trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I looked at graduate school as postponing the “what comes next.”  Fortunately for me, while pursuing my MFA, I was able to find my full passion and finally gained confidence in the idea that I could make some kind of future for myself in art.

Michael Booker, The Dreamer that Thought, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art

SC: What is the thinking behind the selection of works included in your new exhibition at Morton Fine Art?

MB: In my show, Veil, I wanted to explore my personal emotional response to the effects of the pandemic and the social and political landscape that took root over the past 12 to 18 months.  It was a very tumultuous time—I could not foresee the effects it would ultimately have on me. Amidst it all, I felt myself trying to protect my peace by guarding my emotions and hiding away any vulnerabilities that I may have felt. I turned to making these drawings as a form of a cathartic release, and to put a visual representation to the indescribable feelings that were eating away at me.

SC: You work with a very precise palette in your drawings — how do you think about using colour?

MB: I like to think about the energy contained in certain colour palettes, and conceptualise my use of them in a cinematic manner. I establish one colour as the main character, with every other colour operating as a supporting role. In Retrograde, I was determined to make a “yellow” piece. For me, yellow has been the most difficult colour to work with, as it can be overpowered by other colours so easily. Yellow, in all its excitement, has some amount of uncertainty in it. I wanted to point to a certain confusion resulting from a rush of so many things happening at the same time, and yellow felt like the perfect colour for evoking that indeterminacy.

Michael Booker, Before I’m a Burden I, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art

SC: Could you expand on the figures you depict — who or what influences their forms?

MB: Some of the figures are people I know. My sister is in two of them, and some artist friends are in a few others. There’s a still from a TV show in one, and some of the figures are unknown amalgamations from reference pictures I source. I used my own body in just one piece.  Regardless of the person depicted, I saw their stories as a parallel to my own feelings, and positioned them as conduits for my own self-expression. I see all of my subjects as embodying myself in one way or another.

For example, in I Need a Forest Fire, I wanted to show a longing for a dramatic change that felt necessary in order to heal—a purification ritual to cleanse and start anew. A friend of mine was going through a tough time himself, dealing with his own issues. I felt he was looking for the same kind of change that I needed. I used a picture of him to show that these feelings are not only something I was experiencing, but can be universal.  There was a certain energy in his expression that encapsulated the tone I wanted to convey for the piece, and for the whole show.

Also, for every figure in the show, except for the figure in Everything’s Fine, I wanted to create some kind of barrier of entry to prevent the viewer from fully accessing the piece. I thought about the figures as trying to protect their vulnerabilities, so they were drawn out of focus, with their heads turned away or partially obscured. The figure in Everything’s Fine is the only one that directly engages with the viewer. His gaze locks onto the viewer, as if he is finally ready to let you in and drop his guard down.

Michael Booker, The Wait of the World, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art

SC: What do you want to learn more about?

MB: I’m still in awe of how much of an impact colour can have. I love learning about tropical birds and watching nature documentaries. I want to go back to my childhood and learn about how roller coasters are made all over again, as my original dream job was to build them. Who are my ancestors and how far back can I trace them? What are more of the stories that have been lost over time from the Underground Railroad; and how were quilts used to hide messages? How will this pandemic, combined with the battle of public consciousness for social justice and equality, be looked back on in 100 years?  The way we look back on different events in history, such as the Great Depression, the Berlin Wall, or even how the Egyptian pyramids were built… will 2020-2021 (or whenever this period ends) be a period in time that gets a chapter in an 8th grade Social Studies textbook 100 years from now? Who will write that story? These are the things I want to learn about.



Feature image: Michael Booker, Everything’s Fine, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art

Available Artwork by MICHAEL ANDREW BOOKER

MICHAEL BOOKER’s solo “Veil” highlighted in Washingtonian Magazine

18 Nov

Here’s what you should check out this week:

A one-of-a-kind performance: Ben Folds, multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter and artistic advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra, is bringing his greatest hits to the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall for one night only. He will be performing songs from his time as frontman of the Ben Folds Five, his solo career, and his many collaborative records. Monday 11/15 at 8 PM; $39-$79, buy tickets here.

Makin’ music: Bring the kids downtown for a lunchtime go-go music workshop in Franklin Park. Dante Pope, soul-vocalist and drummer, will teach the young musicians about the role of percussion instruments in creating the funky rhythms. Drumsticks will be provided. Tuesday 11/16 at 11 AM; Free, register here.

Fall vibes: Learn the art of floral design in a fall wreath-making workshop from local women-owned flower shop She Loves Me. While the florists will teach you how to put a variety of fresh seasonal flowers and plants on a brass structure, sip on a complimentary beverage from Denizens Brewing Co. in Riverdale Park, Md. Tuesday 11/16 from 6 PM-8 PM; Free, register here.

Reclaiming herself: Hear from model Emily Ratajkowski as she talks about her new memoir, My Body with New York magazine’s Hanna Rosin. In her book, Ratajkowski describes her personal exploration of feminism, sexuality, and power in a collection of essays that also investigates society’s fetishization of female beauty, the contempt for women’s sexuality, and the gray area between consent and abuse. Tuesday 11/16 at 7 PM; $12-$35, buy tickets here.

Have a laugh: Stand-up comedian Ali Siddiq started his comedy career by telling jokes in prison, which gave him the unique perspective and distinct style that has made thousands of people laugh over the past several years. This week, the Bring the Funny finalist will headline for his fourth time at the DC Improv Comedy Club. Wednesday 11/17 through Saturday 11/20 (times vary); $25-$30, buy tickets here.

Wine down: Relax after work with a watercolor painting session at Shop Made in DC’s Georgetown location. The self-guided DIY event comes with two prints to paint and two glasses of wine. Bring a friend, or come solo to meet some new friends. Wednesday 11/17 from 5 PM-7 PM; $20, buy tickets here.

Indigenous films: The National Museum of the American Indian’s Native Cinema Showcase started last week, and features several movies and panels from filmmakers from Indigenous communities throughout the Western Hemispheres and Arctic. Films include Rez Metal—which tells the story of a Navajo heavy metal band’s rise to fame—and Run Woman Run, about a bereaved single mother who gets her life back on track with the guidance of the ghost of her ancestor. Other programming includes short films that reflect Native storytelling traditions and panels about the hurdles that Indigenous filmmakers face. Through Thursday 11/18; Free, learn more here.

Storytelling through art: “Veil” is a new art exhibition at Morton Fine Art in Truxton Circle that depicts artist Michael Booker’s psychological journey throughout the pandemic and recent moments of social injustices. Booker combines watercolor, pen, and hand stitching to portray the resilience and strength of the Black community through troubling times. Through Saturday 12/4; Free, learn more here.

That’s all for now! Don’t forget to drop me a line at dbaker@washingtonian.com to let me know what you’re up to.

Damare Baker

ASSISTANT EDITOR

Before becoming an assistant editor, Damare Baker started out as an editorial fellow for Washingtonian. She has previously written for Voice of America and The Hill. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied international relations, Korean, and journalism.

MICHAEL ANDREW BOOKER’s solo exhibition “Veil” at Morton Fine Art

15 Nov

Video credit: Jarrett Hendrix

Morton Fine Art (52 O Street NW #302, Washington, DC) is pleased to present Veil, a solo presentation of new works on paper by artist Michael Booker, on view from November 6 – December 4, 2021.

Rendered on paper and Yupo, Booker’s latest body of work depicts surreal scenes evocative of the artist’s psychological journey through tumult and towards inner peace. In Booker’s compositions, portraits are partially shielded by swaths of color, and views are intercepted by lush organic forms. Joining geometric designs with figuration, Booker’s large-scale drawings are rich in dynamism and detail, the artist acting as a conductor of a broad symphony of colors and tones. Owing to the drawing practice itself as a healing mechanism, Veil documents the emotional terrains crossed by the artist amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and concurrent instances of social injustice. The exhibition’s title gestures towards the strategies of emotional self-protection harnessed by the artist during periods of vulnerability and contemplation, barriers made visible in the layered effects captured by the drawings themselves.

Despite the complexity of Booker’s compositions, each line and brushstroke remains visible, the artist using a wide range of materials and instruments, including fine liner pen, colored pencil, watercolor, and alcohol ink. Booker’s mastery of his tools is evidenced by his ability to create dense fields of light, shadow, and texture through the careful application of fine lines, resulting in superimposed tableaus reminiscent of collage or digital manipulation. Reverberating with the work’s themes, the meticulous process by which such depth and emotion is rendered echoes the strained experiences of self-reflection, growth, and reconciliation experienced by the artist during the course of these drawings’ creations.

“This exhibition chronicles a personal and emotional journey caused by the effects of a prolonged pandemic and moments of social injustice,” said artist Michael Booker. “Volatile social interactions became commonplace in both media and amongst friends. Over time, a realization of resiliency set in, as these drawings became a form of cathartic therapy to search for a nuanced visual reflection of the turmoil that lingered within.”

Though invested with fraught emotions, the cohesion and harmony of the resulting works ultimately foreground hope and optimism. Capturing individuals immersed in solitary contemplation as well as in embrace, Booker’s drawings suggest resilience and reconciliation amidst societal and interpersonal volatility, demonstrating a multiplicity of pathways toward new light.

Available Artwork by MICHAEL ANDREW BOOKER

MICHAEL ANDREW BOOKER speaks to his drawings in his solo exhibition “Veil” at Morton Fine Art

13 Nov

Video credit: Jarrett Hendrix

Morton Fine Art (52 O Street NW #302, Washington, DC) is pleased to present “Veil”, a solo presentation of new works on paper by artist Michael Booker, on view from November 6 – December 4, 2021.

Rendered on paper and Yupo, Booker’s latest body of work depicts surreal scenes evocative of the artist’s psychological journey through tumult and towards inner peace. In Booker’s compositions, portraits are partially shielded by swaths of color, and views are intercepted by lush organic forms. Joining geometric designs with figuration, Booker’s large-scale drawings are rich in dynamism and detail, the artist acting as a conductor of a broad symphony of colors and tones. Owing to the drawing practice itself as a healing mechanism, Veil documents the emotional terrains crossed by the artist amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and concurrent instances of social injustice. The exhibition’s title gestures towards the strategies of emotional self-protection harnessed by the artist during periods of vulnerability and contemplation, barriers made visible in the layered effects captured by the drawings themselves.

Available Artwork by MICHAEL ANDREW BOOKER

MICHAEL BOOKER in Create! Magazine

8 Nov

Create! Mag is pleased to share the announcement of Veil, a solo presentation of new works on paper by artist Michael Booker, on view from November 6 – December 4, 2021, at Morton Fine Art. Rendered on paper and Yupo, Booker’s latest body of work depicts surreal scenes evocative of the artist’s psychological journey through tumult and towards inner peace.

In Booker’s compositions, portraits are partially shielded by swaths of color, and views are intercepted by lush organic forms. Joining geometric designs with figuration, Booker’s large-scale drawings are rich in dynamism and detail, the artist acting as a conductor of a broad symphony of colors and tones. Owing to the drawing practice itself as a healing mechanism, Veil documents the emotional terrains crossed by the artist amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and concurrent instances of social injustice. The exhibition’s title gestures towards the strategies of emotional self-protection harnessed by the artist during periods of vulnerability and contemplation, barriers made visible in the layered effects captured by the drawings themselves.

Michael Booker, I Need a Forest Fire, 2021, 35.5″x35.5″, Fineliner pen, color pencil, watercolor and alcohol ink on paper and Yupo, Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art
Michael Booker, Unwritten, 2020, 34″x25″, Fineliner pen, watercolor and doily on paper and Yupo, Courtesy the artist and Morton Fine Art

Michael Booker is a mixed media artist originally from Jackson, Mississippi who currently resides in Maryland. He received his BFA in Studio Art – Painting from Mississippi State University in 2008, and received his MFA in Studio Art from University of Maryland in 2012. He has exhibited in various galleries across Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Maine, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. His work has been acquired by the David C. Driskell Center in College Park, MD. He is an Assistant Professor of Art at Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Spring. Booker has been represented by Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC since 2019.

Headshot of the artist, Courtesy the artist and Morton Fine Art

Alicia Puig

Available Artwork by Michael Booker.

New Artwork by MICHAEL ANDREW BOOKER

20 May

Morton Fine Art is pleased to announce the much-anticipated arrival of three new fine liner pen drawings by artist MICHAEL ANDREW BOOKER.  He continues to push his medium forward integrating layers of watercolor, ink and hand stitching.  Among some influences he has cited is W.E.B. DuBois’ “Double Consciousness” theory where BOOKER “highlights a space of vulnerability that exists like a flickering candlelight in the wind, fighting for survival.”

Please be in touch regarding viewing by appointment or additional supplementary images or short videos.

Morton Fine Art, 52 O St NW #302, Washington, DC 20001

(202) 628-2787 (call or text)

info@mortonfineart.com

http://www.mortonfineart.com

Michael Andrew Booker
Hunting Party, 2020
Fineliner pen, watercolor, and ink on paper
30 x 22 in

Michael Andrew Booker
Acknowledgment, 2020
Fine liner pen and watercolor on paper
31 x 25 in
Michael Andrew Booker
Unwritten, 2020
Fineliner Pen, Watercolor, Doily, and Hand Stitching on Paper and Yupo
34 x 25 in

Available artwork by MICHAEL ANDREW BOOKER

Two New Small Drawings by MICHAEL ANDREW BOOKER

28 Aug

Just off the easel – two new small drawings by DC based artist MICHAEL ANDREW BOOKER.

 

 

Michael Andrew Booker

Pocket Rockets (PPE 1), 2020
Fine liner pen and watercolor on paper
14 x 11 in

 

 

Michael Andrew Booker

Untitled (PPE 2), 2020
Fineliner pen and watercolor on paper
14 x 11 in

Influenced by quilts used during the Underground Railroad to send hidden messages to the traveling slaves, the drawings in Godspeed document a journey of escapism for travelers in search of a better life, for themselves and for generations to come. Quilts are used as sign markers, shields, portals, and gateways to help secure safe passage towards an “Afrotopia.” Hip Hop music, African wax fabrics, and the quilts of Gee’s Bend give form and guidance to the figures and patterns, encompassing African American history, culture, and mysticism.– MICHAEL A. BOOKER, 2020

Michael Booker is a mixed media artist originally from Jackson, Mississippi who currently resides in Maryland. He received his BFA in Studio Art – Painting from Mississippi State University in 2008, and received his MFA in Studio Art from University of Maryland in 2012. He has exhibited in various galleries across Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Maine, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. His work has been acquired by the David C. Driskell Center in College Park, MD. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Art at Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Spring. Booker has been represented by Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC since 2019

Click here to view available artworks by MICHAEL ANDREW BOOKER.

 

Morton Fine Art

52 O St NW #302

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 628-2787 (call or text)

http://www.mortonfineart.com

mortonfineart@gmail.com

Michael Booker’s 360 interactive virtual tour and artist talk for his solo “Godspeed”

1 Jun

360 interactive virtual tour with artist talk for MICHAEL BOOKER’s long awaited solo exhibition, Godspeed. Launching on Morton Fine Art’s YouTube channel. Navigate around the video with your touchscreen, touch pad or mouse. Contact the gallery for price list and acquisition.

Visit our Website

MICHAEL BOOKER’s solo exhibition Godspeed and 8 minute artist talk at Morton Fine Art, Washington, DC. Navigate around the video with your touchscreen, touch pad or mouse.
Video credit: Jarrett Hendrix
Godspeed 
A solo exhibition of artwork by MICHAEL BOOKER
June 1st – June 24th, 2020
360 INTERACTIVE VIRTUAL TOUR
On Morton Fine Art’s YouTube Channel TODAY
Artist Talk included
Contact the gallery for price list, additional information and acquisition.
(202) 628-2787 (call or text)
mortonfineart@gmail.com (email)

Fruit of My Fruits, 2020, 40″x30″, fine liner pen, watercolor and collage on paper

About Godspeed
Influenced by quilts used during the Underground Railroad to send hidden messages to the traveling slaves, the drawings in Godspeed document a journey of escapism for travelers in search of a better life, for themselves and for generations to come. Quilts are used as sign markers, shields, portals, and gateways to help secure safe passage towards an “Afrotopia.” Hip Hop music, African wax fabrics, and the quilts of Gee’s Bend give form and guidance to the figures and patterns, encompassing African American history, culture, and mysticism.
– MICHAEL A. BOOKER, 2020

 

30 second video of MICHAEL BOOKER’s fine liner pen and watercolor artworks featured in his solo exhibition Godspeed

 

Installation image of Fruit of My Fruits and In Due Time

Photo credit: Jarrett Hendrix

About MICHAEL BOOKER

Michael Booker is a mixed media artist originally from Jackson, Mississippi who currently resides in Maryland. He received his BFA in Studio Art – Painting from Mississippi State University in 2008, and received his MFA in Studio Art from University of Maryland in 2012. He has exhibited in various galleries across Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Maine, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. His work has been acquired by the David C. Driskell Center in College Park, MD. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Art at Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Spring. Booker is represented by Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC.

Sunkissed Child, 2020, 14.25″x10.5″, fine liner pen, watercolor and marker on paper

 

About Morton Fine Art

Founded in 2010 in Washington, DC by curator Amy Morton, Morton Fine Art (MFA) is a fine art gallery and curatorial group that collaborates with art collectors and visual artists to inspire fresh ways of acquiring contemporary art. Firmly committed to the belief that art collecting can be cultivated through an educational stance, MFA’s mission is to provide accessibility to museum-quality contemporary art through a combination of substantive exhibitions and a welcoming platform for dialogue and exchange of original voice. Morton Fine Art specializes in a stellar roster of nationally and internationally renowned artists as well as has an additional focus on artwork of the African Diaspora.

Morton Fine Art
52 O St NW #302
Washington, DC 20001

COVID-19 protocol: Contact the gallery for supplementary artwork documentation such as detail images and short videos. Safe, no contact door to door delivery available. Shipping nationally and internationally. Upcoming: by appointment only. Mask required.

Morton Fine Art exhibits MICHAEL BOOKER & AMBER ROBLES-GORDON at Prizm Art Fair 2019

25 Nov

 

Morton Fine Art at Prizm Art Fair this December during Miami Art Week
December 2 – 8, 2019

Prizm Art Fair
Morton Fine Art – Booth 3
Alfred I. DuPont Building
169 East Flagler St.
Miami, Florida

Morton Fine Art will be introducing fine liner ink drawings of MICHAEL BOOKER alongside mixed media artworks by AMBER ROBLES-GORDON.

 

MICHAEL BOOKER, Show Me the Wisdom In Your Movements, 2019, 30″x22″, fineliner pen, watercolor and collage on paper and Yupo

Available Artwork by MICHAEL BOOKER

 

 

 

AMBER ROBLES-GORDON, Their Eyes of God, 2018, 36″x36″, ink drawing and collage on paper

Available Artwork by AMBER ROBLES-GORDON

 

Get to know MFA’s new artist MICHAEL A. BOOKER

3 Aug

 

Morton Fine Art is pleased to announce  we now represent the artwork of MICHAEL A. BOOKER. Please explore his video above which explores the inspiration and process of his incredible creations.

 

STATEMENT

My work is a creation of a parallel utopic, afro-futuristic community, told through a series of fineliner pen drawings.  As a form of escapism, this utopic world is crafted within and around the figures themselves by weaving natural environments into the people of this community.  Culturally significant hairstyles and clothing function as symbolic conduits; objects through which I begin to imagine and build this “afrotopia” as both a physical place and as an outer projection of an inner consciousness. – MICHAEL A. BOOKER, 2019

 

BIOGRAPHY

Michael Booker is a mixed media artist originally from Jackson, Mississippi that currently resides in Maryland. He received his BFA in Studio Art – Painting from Mississippi State University in 2008, and received his MFA in Studio Art from University of Maryland in 2012.  He has exhibited in various galleries across Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Maine, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. His work has been acquired by the David C. Driskell Center in College Park, MD.  Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Art at Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Spring.  Booker is represented by Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC.

 

Available artwork by MICHAEL A. BOOKER

 

Contact Morton Fine Art for acquisition or additional information.

 

Morton Fine Art

52 O St NW #302

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 628-2787

http://www.mortonfineart.com

mortonfineart@gmail.com