Fred Michel explores Horticultural Art by creating still life images of plants and their parts. Inspired by a love of plants and gardening, Michel's images are broad and diverse, ranging from botanical to mandalas, patterns, textures, and designs made from plants he disassembles and rearranges. Michel’s work has been selected for numerous juried shows including New York’s Salmagundi Art Club and Maine's Barn Gallery, Irvine Gallery, River Arts, University of Maine Atrium Gallery, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art 2014 Biennial. Michel has shown at Aucocisco Galleries, Hole in the Wall Studioworks, Stonewall Gallery, Saccarappa Art Collective and North Light Gallery. His works have been featured on covers of Science, Holland Herald, and Buried Choirs and include contributions to Architectural Digest and online by Styling Magazine and Abyss and featured in Motel One's lobby at their Hotel in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Michel is married to landscape painter Caren-Marie Michel and lives in Westbrook, Maine.
Artist's Statement: Connections with plants, soil, weather, and seasons tie us to the Earth and provide a framework of life and renewal – benefits of being a gardener. Watching plants sprout, grow, develop, satisfy their purpose, and then rest or become compost is a constant source of fascination, joy, and wonder.
I document plant life primarily from my garden with still-life photographs that capture what is often ephemeral and short-lived. Images show plants as they are or staged to show them as imagined. These images can be simple having a single subject while others include a wide variety of flowers, leaves, seeds, stems, fruit, bark, roots, vegetables, etc. My work incorporates reality, change, metamorphosis, repetition, juxtaposition, pattern, and on occasion altered color, whimsy, and humor. Pieces are arranged, piled, and sometimes cut and shaped to provide close and introspective views and imagined worlds. My images includes various motifs such as mandalas, starbursts, spirals, circles, grids, lines, progressions, animations, whimsy and other forms and themes including aquariums, constructed horizons, flocks of birds, and even cosmic images.
Stories tell us we began in a garden…a continuing genesis for the mind and soul.