Rogers, Michelle

Integrated No.1, 2015
48 x 12 in
Central Park Skating, 2015
18 x 18 in
The Skater, Central Park, 2015
18 x 18 in
Midtown NY, 2015
18x 18 in
Ukraine Priests Protest, 2014
Oil on canvas
72 x 48 in
Alpha Magnetic Spectometer/Looking for the God Particle, 2014
Oil on canvas
108 x 72 in
Gowna, 2014
Oil on canvas
117 x 78 in
Revolutionary Impulse, 2014
Oil on canvas
39 x 31 in
Waters, 2014
Oil on canvas
48 x 72 in
Michelle Rogers born 1966, she grew up in Dundalk, Ireland on the border between the Northern and Southern regions of the country at the height of the Troubles. As early as 1993, Amnesty International selected her to go to Bosnia, an experience that resulted in a series of paintings about the darkest side of human nature.

In 2002, she was invited to show her painting 9-11 Memorial, a tribute to those lost on September 11, at the Irish Arts Center in New York City. Other important exhibitions include Transformations 1,2,3 Tribute to Caravaggio at the Museum of Modern art in Guadalajara, Mexico and at the Chiostro del Bramante in Rome, and Troubles at Home, a series, which examines the notion of patriotism in North America following the 9-11 attacks; exhibited at Track 16 gallery in Los Angeles. Her large painting "Lampedusa,"explores the plight and flight of immigrants of Italy, which were shown both at the Judson Memorial Church in New York City and in St. George Church in Venice during The Venice Biennale 52.

Recent exhibitions at The Paul Kane gallery in Dublin" I am from where I am" explore the ideas of homeland while her exhibition in Rome "On earth as it is in heaven "included work focusing on political and environmental problems and was accompanied by a catalogue with introduction by Achille Bonito Olive. Her show "Shadows of Eden" about the theme of man and nature was exhibited at FDA Project in Rome. Her portrait of the Doria Pamphilj family was unveiled last September at Palazzo Doria Pamphilj in Rome. Rogers divides her time between Rome, New York, and Dublin.

Artist Statement

My practice is invested in elevating the recognition of contemporary social struggles by depicting their key moments and images through traditional oil painting. My education has been in the European tradition that has, even until now, been an almost exclusively male and privileged group. I enter the art historical conversation with a fresh voice—responding to the Masters of the past while incorporating present concerns. The artists in my field that have strongly informed my work have been Caravaggio, Goya, Corbert and Gericault. My technique works the canvas from dark to light in a thick, sculptural impasto. The scale of my paintings is often large to give weight to the image and create a physical relationship with the body of the viewer. The human figure appears prominently in my work as the connective site to the environment and social movements. I combine political activism with a studio art practice and a street art practice.. I memorialize people who tend to get lost in our media frenzy world—people like the immigrants aboard the ship bound for ” Lampedusa” or the nameless individuals of Occupy Wall Street. I create documents of their contributions and spirit in order to preserve their lives and deeds for the future. I have a continuing fascination with what it might mean to be human at this point history—how we cope with life’s major questions while societal structures and belief systems are shifting Most of all, it is with my commitment to beauty that I want to mark our generation and inspire people’s hearts and minds. 

Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer/searching for the God Particle is 72 x 108 inches and celebrates the unbridled human spirit of exploration and the great quest to understand the mystery of all creation. In this painting which also has a silver base, we see engineers building the AMS in a small room. The lightest part of the painting is the roof, alluding to the heavens where the machine is destined for. I would have imagined the creation of the AMS to happen in an ultra hi tech room but the structures around it are very basic beams of wood and relate to images I have seen of Religious early renaissance paintings. It is ultimately a very human endeavor. 

I grew up in Ireland, a country wrecked by conflict and it has left an immense impression on me as an artist. The peace keepers are often the soft and ignored voices whose moral courage we remember as true lights in the darkness. The "Ukraine priest painting " is in honour of peacekeepers , the Ukrainian priests who despite the Ukraine's government threat to ban prayer services at the Ukraine protests risked their  lives to pray for peace. I found their action to be incredibly profound. On a visual level I love working with the deep blacks and white snow and breaking up the picture plane with the incredible elaborate icons which contrast strongly with the free quality of the surrounding paint work. There is an incredible poise in the priest figures themselves as they hold their icons and hold on to Peace in the no- mans land space between protestors and Police. 

"The Waters" is from a series of paintings that I have made about the environment. The work relates to our connection with water . At the bottom of the painting there are figures in the sea, there bodies are surrounded by water and they become almost one with the sea. The painting is worked up with washes reflecting the effects of water falling on the surface. The colours are warm fleshy tones reminding us of our shared life force and incorporating the tension between control and letting go.

The work, “Integrated”, is about Singularity and considers the conflicted relationship between human beings and technology. I explore this relationship using silver paint that creates a reflective surface that changes as the viewer changes position. The paintings are abstract representations of transitory spaces ( airport terminals, subway stations ) with subtle figures absorbed in the abstracted space.