Meikel Church - Artist SpotlightJan 05, 2022
Welcome to our ARTIST'S SPOTLIGHT, a series on artists in Canary Rising. Today, our featured artist is Meikel Church.
The Magic of Meikel Church
Meikel Church is a visual alchemist. He conjures many moods in his artwork and takes us from playfulness to pathos. A storyteller, he uses simple materials; collaged pieces from vintage magazines.
Church invites us into a surreal world with images that delight where a child is at play in the piece Recovering The Satellites Of A Lifetime. A scene where a little boy is trying to tamp down balloons in a basket, thus suggesting that the tangible things in our lives can’t be tamed. Beneath much of Church’s art, one senses a musing, an opening that he is teaching us something important, although he encourages the viewer to fill in the blanks for the story he is telling us.
The backgrounds of his work are stark and consist of neutral, patched squares of old papers that intensify the dream-like quality of his art. Often the background has no horizon line, and creates an enclosed floating sensation which bespeaks a kind of loneliness, a hint of despair, a loss of equilibrium. Church chases us back and forth and then changes the mood, returning us from lost innocence to an image of a man with a face made of tangled string. This is the mark of an artistic trickster, who displays all of our humanity in its various messiness and goodness.
In a favorite piece, titled The Gift, a boy stands in a neutral background while opening a box and inside the box is the word LIFE. That boy is about to begin his journey. In the piece The Melancholic King Of Oregon, there is another picture of a boy whose face is obliterated, head bent, wearing a hand drawn crown. Surrounding the boy are geometric shards from old, torn books. One senses that this moment of being “king, The Hero, which is every boy’s dream, has been dashed. He’s lost face. His identity. His hand drawn transparent crown has lost its power. The scattered shards insinuate that he’s been metaphorically ripped from an old book, losing a part of himself.
Sometimes Church features solitary figures whether it’s a child or an adult. Perhaps he is showing us that the search for self is a reclusive one. In another piece, I’d Rather Be In Portland, is a single figure in black, with his back to the viewer, holding an umbrella. Yet there is no rain, simply a sky layered with horizontal strips of color, filling half of the image with blues, greens reds, yellows. A dichotomy. Loneliness mixed with the beauty of a surreal sky.
Church creates his sorcery in a benevolent way. He knows joy as well as pain. For example in the piece Something From Nothing, there is a large hand that holds an aerosol can spraying a cloud of puzzle pieces, spouting a magical village; an image all artists can relate to. Meikel Church is an enchanter who casts a spell invoking the mystery and joy of what art making is about.
You can find all his work at meikelchurchcollage.com
by Christine Graf
Christine is a published poet, artist & art writer. She is a mixed media artist and has been making art for forty years. She also loves to write poetry. "Writing is the portal to my heart and is my soul work."
Follow us onFacebook