A selection of recent work by Richmond, Virginia-based artist Michael Royce. Approaching his paintings as collages, Royce brings together centuries of visual output into a single plane. “Characters swoop and swim through various tableaux as references from van Eyck and Dürer clang against Bugs Bunny and Lisa Frank, all the while attempting to cohere in their own off-kilter logic,” he explains. “The work explores the possibility that the human mind assumes other forms after death, creating a space where humans, angels, ghosts, and animals are all equal protagonists.”
Combining Catholic iconography with Buddhist philosophy, Royce reveals the “spark of life” in all its various guises, “becoming both subjects in their own right as well as proxies for human beings.” Though his technical approach varies from painting to painting, ranging from improvisational to meticulously planned and executed, each finished piece dances around similar themes, inviting open-ended meditations on queerness, sexuality, and religion.
See more from Michael Royce below!