Representational painter Michael Doherty, Born in Troon, Scotland, engages with theatricality and frivolity in his work, encapsulating Renaissance painting, 19th century academic painting, animals, nature, irony, the kitsch, sexuality and the poor in taste in large and small scale, still life and figurative works.
The work Michael makes is modern in its sensibility, while attempting to communicate his love for tradition in its execution. Through it he illustrates intense fantasies and examines desire. The paintings are substitute for a strong want that is absent, a celebration of traditional methods of oil painting with a modernistic inflection of ludicrous irony. He communicates this through renderings of the figure, objects, animals and landscapes. The work is pursued with a feeling of joy, a tongue-in-cheek sense of camp and levity. He insists on utilising techniques of 19th century academic painters and the visual cues of the baroque and rococo period. This may seem anachronistic in the light of contemporary, critically-aware painting, particularly in the United Kingdom, but he deploys this knowingly so that it endows the paintings with a camp sense of irony which incorporates the themes perfectly. This aesthetic was cleverly described by Liberace as “Palatial Kitsch”.
Michael's work meditates on the contemporary value of painted imagery and the environment in which it exists. Painting is often seen as frivolous and is infused with a sense of non-functionality. In this it is a humorous, corporeal microcosm of many aspects of modernity. His paintings attempt to parody this impression and solidify representational painting is a vital descriptor and rationalisation of the times.
Michael tries to create an environment through the conscientious renderings of fine fabrics, ripe fruits and lush landscapes. He employs a variety of visual languages, using elements of Neoclassicism and Academicism with a sense of heightened theatricality, he borrows motifs from 19th Century salon painters like Bouguereau and the more overtly flamboyant works of Thomas Gainsborough.
Michael shares the joy of painting with his work, this joy comes from the realisation that there are inherently solutions to the problems of how to represent effectively, they lie in gaining knowledge and experience. Michael views the painting process as a structure for addressing complex and difficult issues. It reflects the subject matter, using a rich “Neapolitan” of techniques that refer directly to the history of oil painting and more modern experimental methods.
In making an honest attempt to revive traditional, representational painting and ground it in contemporary art, Michael builds a conceptual space where desirous subjects are the norm. This is a surrogate for desire which is otherwise lacking. Abundant, saccharine and irreverent, with his work he tries to embody contemporary living.
Michael James Doherty
Scottish Visual Artist
Born: Irvine, Scotland, UK, 1993
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Address: Glasgow, United Kingdom
Aug 2005 – June 2011
Aug 2011 – June 2012
HNC Art & Design
Robert Gordon University
September 2012 – June 2013
First Year Studies Cert. BA Painting Honours
September 2014 - Present
Fine Art BA.
Honours Upper Second Class
Royal Scottish Academy New Contemporaries
Royal Scottish Academy
The Mound, Edinburgh EH22EL · 0131 6246110
9th March – 3rd April 2019
Green Gallery Christmas Show
The Coach House, Baron Ct, Stirling FK83NX · 01360 850180
6th December 2018 - 17th January 2019
Green Gallery Autumn Showcase
The Coachhouse, Baron Ct, Stirling FK83NX · 01360 850180
28th September – 3rd November 2018
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design Degree Show 2018
Duncan Of Jordanstone College of Art and Design and Cooper Gallery
Perth Road, Dundee DD1 4HT · 01382 388828
18-27 May 2018
DJCAD Painters Showcase Events
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design and Cooper Gallery
Perth Road, Dundee DD1 4HT · 01382 388828
Painters Events 1-9
“Generator” Projects Members Show
25/26 Mid Wynd Industrial Estate
Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom DD1 4JG
17th-28th February 2017
Elective Module Exhibition
Main Lobby, Crawford Building
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design
Perth Road, Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom DD1 4HT · 01382 388828
20th-27th March 2016
Awards and Prizes:
James Gurthrie Orchar Memorial Award Winner 2018
Royal Scottish Academy New Contemporary 2019
Moderator of “DJCAD Painters” Community
June 2017 – Present
2. Self Employed Private Tutor
July 2016 – Present