Michelle Rahbar is a visual artist who lives and works in Austin, TX. She grew up amongst _factories and railroad yards on the shores of Lake Michigan. In this environment, she _developed a strong affinity for Northern Romanticism, the written word and urban folk tales. After receiving her BFA in Painting & Drawing, she moved to Austin and her work has been exhibited across Texas in select group shows, including the East Austin Studio Tour. She was a member of Pump Project for 8 years, her work has appeared in national art publications and was selected for inclusion in the Hilton's local, private art collection in Austin.
According to scientists, our first two decades seem to pass as slowly as the whole of the rest of our lives, so that our early experiences carry vastly more psychic weight than those of adulthood. If this is true then all the landscapes, whispers, meteor showers and memories I've witnessed have left their indelible mark on my work.
Many of the images I use are scavenged or from my travels, I take the photographs and implant myself or imagery from my own personal history. In this way I create a past that never was, with unknown future implications. Relationships are tenuous and at times dangerous, sometimes we barely survive the near collision. I like to create work that's slow to reveal itself.
Painting allows me a complex and subtle language to communicate my ideas. I am fascinated by trying to resolve how to merge pictorial narrative into dynamic painted ground. I paint the space where memory and reality overlap because I exist there. These works are concerned with how
memories double the space of your existence. The paintings embrace the indelible imprint of people and places that have gone before me. An absence can be a highly charged presence in one's life. The ghost still lingers. Yet memories are elusive, so in a sense, I rewrite my personal history through the work.
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