Michael Lazarus’ work has long been flirting with a number of ways of making a painting, He never adhered to any particular way, instead, his quest into painting as object – what materials it is made out of, how these materials are used, the search for different textures,… – keeps widening and intensifying.
The use of found materials in the artist’s current work, is similar to the use of collage in previous pieces. At that time, elements in his work were influenced by shapes and objects he saw around him. In his recent body of work, these elements have become three-dimensional, projecting out of or from a defined substrate, effectively turning the work into assemblages.
For all the tools the artist chooses to use in his work, there are an equal amount of reasons, both coming from a place where most of our sensual interaction with the world around us is experienced.
The face, which has been a constant presence throughout Lazarus’ body of work could be considered as a guide. It represents a condition of being, expresses a message, one which cannot be described in words, a vocabulary closer to abstraction than to language or representation. However, his singular, seemingly isolated portraits, do not create a graphic equivalent with a specific meaning. Much like the artist’s use of color has its own complex personality, responding differently, dependent on its situation, they become signs that have the ability to convey feelings, experiences and emotions.
By definition the artists’ portraits are narrative assemblages. Not conventional narratives relating to a linear ‘story’, but rather those, which through signs, worldwide recognized symbols and the conscious decision to avoid elements that are meant to have a specific meaning, provide a broad universal understanding. One that brings archetypical feelings to the foreground. One that through a lot of editing and changing, gets to the primal core, void of a singular message.