Living Together Separately by Michael McConnell
Rare Device is happy to welcome artist Michael McConnell to the Rare Device Gallery with new works in Living Together Separately. Comprised of acrylic paintings on cradled wood panels of various sizes, the show was inspired by Michael's 19 year relationship, and how distance has kept them together. Known for his animal paintings, Michael also includes them in this series of work, as they hold their own space while navigating the balance of two worlds
Show dates: Friday, September 22nd - Sunday, November 12th
Reception: Friday, September 22nd, 6-8pm
Artist Statement: When I turned 30 I had my astrological chart read and was advised to live alone. The reader suggested that as an observer, constantly taking things in from the world around me, that I would benefit from adequate space to process…alone.
Being raised by divorced parents in two homes, I find it natural to live apart (at least part-time) from the people I love. Luckily for me, my partner of 19 years is also an artist who needs space to recharge and "process", and we are secure in keeping the Bay between us. Over the course of our relationship, we’ve constantly been asked when we plan on moving in together. The simple answer is possibly never. Although recently we began discussing a new way of being - by building two dwellings on the same property, like a modern-day Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. It's this change in my life that initiated the house imagery in this body of work. The idea of living together, separately.
I’ve always used animal motifs in my work. The animals often take on human characteristics and are presented isolated in an abstract landscape, a metaphor for my need for space. Sometimes they are paired together creating their own dialogue and narrative, but still maintaining their own identity.
So who knows if the houses will ever be built, but in the meantime, the distance keeps us together and I look forward to growing into two old men who watch birds in the backyard.
Artist Bio: Michael McConnell is a San Francisco-based painter known for his depictions of animals in emotional settings or landscapes. He received his BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design in 1999. After graduating, he packed up and moved out West. After 24 years, he has yet to find a good reason to leave. He has shown his work across the US, and locally was represented by the Braunstein/Quay Gallery until their closure. When not in his studio, he can be found serving coffee at Fayes (the coffee shop he co-owns), taking dance classes in the Mission, or hiking in the East Bay with his chosen family.