The Living Stones are Prayer Language "filled up", organic building blocks with purpose and attributes of human growth; results of speaking life.
The Prayer Language series is an uttering with oil stick & ink and a groaning of spirit on paper and steel. The result is a visual "speaking in tongues" a communication with God through spirit, esthetically grown out of a fascination and practice of Asian calligraphy and New York streetcore graffiti styles.
In Living Memory
"... If you take out the precious from the vile, You shall be as My mouth."
Being blessed to create and exhibit in Paris, France has stretched and challenged me into creating a body of work like none I've ever completed.
Initially roaming the city I was engrossed in my long running photo documentation of transforming urban textures & serendipitous objects in the street.
Responding to that way of connecting cities with a macro lens I sought material to create these happenings, with a romanticized edge, in my studio.
As I ripped apart wooden palettes and layered paint the work woke an ode to my life's purpose of lifting and placing value on people who are homeless, hurting, stepped over and suffering. Pulling beauty from devastation, speaking life into the shadow of death and raising up lives with the love of God. A memorial to the living. Those who fall and get up again. Those who turned their lives around & the struggling who are coming together and being built up into the beautiful creations they were meant to be.
I'm honored to present this memorial of their lives to you.
Born from a desire to capture a moment before it comes into focus and the beauty of combining indefinite color and form.
Each stroke of the pen is a moment,,,combined to form a monument to a life lived. (all works ballpoint pen on paper, 18x24, with details)
The Street is Art
A crack in the ground, sparking gravel, a tuft of grass, some crushed debris, offer equally worthy subjects for your applause and admiration. -Jean Dubuffet
The Broken Have Been Chosen
Press Release | April, 2014
Harlem, NY - Heath Gallery proudly presents: To Temper- A solo exhibition of new works by Mike McManus. Through this body of work, we bear witness to the evolution of McManus' visual language, as it gradually sheds the familiar urban archetypes in which he had long been immersed and initially set his artistic foundation. The medium, rich in signature physical character, is manipulated to project an inspired merger of stark realism and re-imagined ritualism that further yield a raw depiction of the human psyche and spirit.
We face darkness, temptations, visions, and revelations alongside the artist, materialized laboriously from his subconscious and through his hands; forms and faces are forged in steel and animated in assemblage. Vicariously, we experience McManus' inadvertent catharsis, a tempering of the soul, manifested through an intrinsic and insatiable compulsion to create.
Curated by Aaron Valentin
the drive of the flesh and the fight to not be driven by it