Upcoming Book: Figure the Future, Major Works by Michael Newberry

Figure the Future-Major Works by Michael Newberry

INTRODUCTION

The brightest glow on the horizon, off to my left, was anticipating the sun’s appearance. Two streaks of light raced along the horizon: the pink in the sky above and a smokey-purple reflection on the gray water’s edge below. The rest of the sky held a promise of the turquoise to come. As the sun emerged, its golden rays hit the Statue of Liberty far off to the right. The yellow light lit half of the gray-blue statue, creating a spectacular glowing dusty-green color.

It was then that I knew I was not crazy.

I was 27 years old and had been painting a major work. My studio was in a Staten Island slum. It was a ground floor, one-bedroom apartment with three tall windows, two of which were in the painting studio and one in the kitchen. Their views were of a seedy bar, a desolate road, and cracked sidewalks with weeds growing through them. Since the studio was equally visible from the street, I kept the white opaque blinds drawn permanently. The studio’s illumination came from one uncovered incandescent lightbulb in the center of the high ceiling. I had been painting through the night into the early morning, and, still wide-awake, I  decided to take the ferry to Manhattan for breakfast.

At the start of the boat trip, I wondered if I was going mad chasing a delusion. I had been painting for months on one big work, sixteen hours a day, seven days a week, and making hundreds of studies from life for every detail of the painting. My savings from a summer job were being drained. Every fiber of my body was invested in art, but was it a false god? What did art have to do with reality?

While studying the sunrise’s effects on the environment, I realized I was intensely connecting to reality. Far from running away from the world, I was observing how magnificent it is and then magnifying it through painting. Instead of psychotically disconnecting from life, I was euphorically being partners with it. That understanding gave me the foundation to support a lifetime of flourishing and artistic creation.

Knowledge, Psychological Wonder, and a Companion

There are three elements of my art that can benefit your sensitivity, intelligence, and passion.

First: In a blink of an eye, my artwork, like a file, is embedded into your consciousness. Though the transfer only takes a few seconds, you could spend a life-time unpacking its visual optics, patterns, ideas, and emotional expressions. It is as if the artwork is a living testament to ongoing knowledge.

Second: You will experience the artwork privately within your consciousness and subconsciousness. The painting will give you a window into your soul, giving you insights into your loves, likes, and dislikes–as if you are trying on a life experience to see if it is a good fit. The value is that, through your openness to contemplate the art, you can safely wonder about your psychological life and what makes you tick. You will be able to imagine what kind of future life is worthwhile to pursue.

Third: In life it is rare to feel 100% appreciated, but through contemplating these artworks there are symbiotic connections. By appreciating the artwork, it, in turn, appreciates your perceptiveness, intelligence, and sensitivity. That connection acts like a soothing and inspiring bond of a companion.

It is my hope that through these artworks you will feel superbly inspired.

*****

I am juggling three books: Figure the Future, Energize Your Art, and my autobiography. And three life-size paintings: Muses, Creating the Planets, and Seventh Day. Making excellent progress but incrementally. I will be posting here chapters from the books as they become available, and, of course, updates on my paintings.

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