Artist Michael De Feo works in phases making distinct bodies of work over periods of time. His new and current series is a transition to painting on canvas. Utilizing acyclic, oil, and oil stick, the paintings are joyous and exuberant, their surfaces crackling with energy. These new paintings showcase De Feo’s push toward a more gestural abstraction while still referencing his long-held interest in flowers and beauty in the ephemeral.
Like his celebrated series of paintings on top of large, printed fashion campaigns, these works on canvas are executed with multiple layers of paint, each one intervening or “taking over” the previous state partially or completely. This painting-over process is both a form of erasure and regrowth. De Feo’s lively and sometimes spontaneous application of materials echoes some of art history’s most influential painters and references aspects of Joan Mitchell, Willem de Kooning, and Pierre Bonnard brought together with the immediacy of graffiti. An inventive colorist, De Feo’s palette pops. The sides of his canvases feature frequently bright drips of acrylic paint. These marks reveal his first steps in the process of building the paintings, which the artist applies while the work is lying flat on the floor of the studio.
Michael's work has been profiled in The New York Times, New York Magazine, VOGUE, Forbes, The South China Morning Post, The Globe and Mail, and countless other media outlets, as well as being featured in film documentaries and over 40 books.
De Feo’s monograph Flowers was published by Abrams Books in 2019 and his new book, Out of Fashion, was published by Poster House in 2022.