Michael Azgour

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Splitting his time between California and Poland, Michael Azgour is known for mesmerizing abstract figurative paintings that reflect upon fleeting moments within the human condition. His works are expressive and geometric abstractions informed by an involved process that combines a strategic, realistic technique with pattern and repetition and the muse of accidental surprise that comes as a result of consistent mark making. This causes his figures to seemingly float with one foot firmly planted in the present while the other wafts into the past.

Recently, Azgour has been drawn to explore the ubiquity of photography in contemporary culture and the changing role this has played on the individual experience. This work speaks about how we interact with images today by referencing features found in the disconnected snapshots and video clips that surround our lives. Paint becomes pixel, blur or distortion mirroring the digitally manipulated portraits and albums that populate our social media profiles. Although the disparate visuals and juxtaposed compositions appear random, they are in fact bits of narrative from the artist’s own life and travels. Building on the assumption that a photograph is a suitable representation of a memory, he combines unrelated pictures together in the same composition, challenging the viewer’s interpretation. Through psychological mood and fragmented depictions he asks us; “What is Real?”

Michael’s paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museums in the United States and Europe and are part of dozens of collections. He returns to the San Francisco Bay Area yearly to teach visual art and design courses at Stanford University's Architecture and Continuing Studies programs and in the Public Education program at San Francisco Art Institute.

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