Love

The concept of the sublime is not complete without a full-voiced celebration of romantic love. MN

Your masterworks are beyond amazing.

A.J. Nesselrod, artist
Newberry. Pursuit, oil on linen, 72x52"
Newberry, Pursuit, 1984, oil on linen, 72×52″
Newberry, Denouement, 1987, oil on linen, 54x78"
Newberry, Denouement, 1987, oil on linen, 54×78″
Newberry, The Kiss, oil on canvas, 24x36"
Newberry, The Kiss, 2019, oil on canvas, 24×36″

‘The Kiss’ is the most intimate picture I have ever seen.

Anat Moberman, Ph.D in Art History and Education, current lecturer of Art and Design History. Her website is in English, Hebrew, and Italian.
Newberry, Arabesque Hetero Couple, oil on linen, 48x60"
Newberry, Arabesque Hetero Couple, 2017, oil on linen, 48×60″
Newberry, Arabesque Male Couple, oil on linen, 36x60"
Newberry, Arabesque Male Couple, 2017, oil on linen, 36×60″
Newberry, Arabesque Female Couple, oil on canvas, 60 x 36"
Newberry, Arabesque Female Couple, 2017, oil on canvas, 60 x 36″

You are a great Genius, my friend!

Pietros Maneos, poet
Newberry, Adam and Eve Diptych, oil on linen, 72x92"
Newberry, Adam and Eve Diptych, 2016, oil on linen, 72×92″

At first, your choice of this famous scene from Genesis (in the holy book used by Jews, Muslims, and Christians) seemed a strange way to express humanist values–but now I see that that’s the whole point. You really are a fucking genius, Michael.

Rick Barker, author “Transcending Evolution”

They say it takes 10,000 hours to master the technique of painting, which includes forms, composition, color theory, light, and shadows. Another 10,000 hours to master the human form, which does not include expression, rather, just to get a nude human form looking physically normal. Getting to this level is an exceptional accomplishment. Still, it does not yet include expression. The challenge remains to imbue the painting with the expression of feeling––to have the figure express anger, sadness, happiness, and focus, hopefully in such a way that the subject embodies it down to their toes and fingers. Moreover, the artist then has to paint the figure’s expression so that it is supported by the rest of the painting. It is surprising, but negative emotions are less demanding to paint. Skewed proportions, mistakes, etc. often add to the expression of rage and frustration. By far, the greatest challenge to an artist is to express love without reservation, without fear, without insecurity––to boldly unleash the most intense feeling we humans are capable of feeling. That is what the sublime truly is about. 

The Toes Have It And Other Details

Models who have worked with me are familiar with the request for them to feel the emotional concept of the painting from their insides––but I also want to see it expressed in their toes. The toes are the exclamation point. And the fingers. In Arabesque Hetero Couple she spreads her little finger just enough to cradle his nipple, a small unself-conscious gesture. Another small detail is to get the models to slightly open and breath through their mouths. I learned that from the late Renaissance artist Bernini, who wanted to catch the split second before the subject would speak.The lips in his Ecstasy of St Teresa speak volumes about experiencing a moment of intense love. This is especially noticeable in my Female Couple

Light

If I can get the light to caress the flesh and linger in sensual areas, the viewer will literally feel their eyes caressing them as well. 

Perception

I start with a feeling and then work with the models posing until there is a “click” that I recognize as the “it” feeling. It is always surprising and fresh for me, more beautiful than I could create solely from my head, and hopefully it resonates that way for you as well. 

Networks of the Soul

Perhaps the most difficult part is the introspective sorting of the emotions that lead and add up to a celebration of love. And to eliminate the cynical voices that have zero to contribute. And to be sensitive enough to have the “ah ha” moment when I see its manifestation in the models’ poses. 

The Greatest Gift

In dreaming up and working to express love in art, my days, weeks, even years are filled with living this feeling. And when I’m feeling bad there is no other option but to rise up from within and be worthy of this sacred task—the ultimate passion in art.