Link to Online Viewing Room here: https://taymourgrahne.viewingrooms.com/viewing-room/20/?_preview_uid=8aee7604d84f43b6888308218e21bec5&version=8f01c6
Working from memory, family photos, and observation, Mikey explores his personal and family mythology through his work. His pictures are diaristic and deal with the construction of identity, the Filipino American experience, and contemporary life in the USA. His environments are populated with traces of his disparate experiences, allowing them to conflict and converse to express a specific hybridity, building a mosaic with the remnants of cultural collisions.
This series of work largely consists of domestic interiors and still lives embodying human figures. This year, Mikey had to close his studio at the University of Colorado due to COVID-19, and self-isolate at home. Most of the works featured in this online solo were made during quarantine and started in the artist’s 10 ft x 10 ft garage in Colorado. Mikey left behind the paintings he had in progress and slowly started making new work on a smaller scale to fit this space.
These multi-figural compositions show the impact of the pandemic on everyday family life. Seeing this year as an extended pause to normality, Mikey comments on routine, the experience of sharing small spaces with others and the contrasts of inside and outside. The wildfires that ravaged Colorado this year gave the light a red tint, reflected in many of these images, and gave Mikey’s apartment an otherworldly feeling. The strong sunlight, the unpleasant routine, and the idea of exhaustion from staying inside for too long are additional elements that give a whole new meaning to the imagery of the calm home. Mikey’s paintings are deeply personal, yet they also reflect experiences we collectively shared during quarantine, thus becoming relatable and immediate.
Mikey Yates (b. 1992, Sulzbach-Rosenberg, Germany) grew up moving from place to place with his family of six, his parents both serving time in the military. Yates has a BFA from Missouri State University and is a current MFA candidate at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Mikey has been featured in BOOOOOOOM!, YNGSPC & Friend of the Artist, and will be in the upcoming MFA annual issue of New American Paintings, curated by Beth Rudin DeWoody.