Portrait of an Artist> Mike Hammer

Mike Hammer

Artist Statement

I have always been fascinated by patterns in works of art. I’m especially drawn to hypnotic and repetitive patterns like those in works by Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely. More recently, I have been following contemporary artists who have broken new ground in abstraction including Anselm Reyle, Mark Grotjahn, Katharina Grosse, Markus Linnenbrink, and Bernard Frize. My overall goal is to jolt your senses through vivid and dynamic paintings.

The degree to which I am able to control the medium (acrylic paint) has become an important undercurrent in my work. In 2002, I began experimenting with non-traditional painting tools. I tried palette knives, spoons, and spatulas. In 2005, I decided to use squeeze bottles exclusively. As I no longer directly apply paint to the support, the amount of control I have over the final product has diminished.

Based on printmaking technique, my current focus is a series called “Lift Off”. To create these paintings, I use squeeze bottles to produce various non-representational images on a wooden panel. Then, a large piece of paper is laid on top of the wet painting. I proceed to press down on the paper evenly across the surface. Finally, the paper is peeled off. The result is a mono-print on the piece of paper and its mirror image on the wooden panel. The piece on the wooden panel is coated with epoxy resin or gloss medium and presented as the finished work. The mono-print remains as an almost exact duplicate of the painting and can be framed or mounted. 

As I continue to explore new techniques, my motivation is the search for unique methods of paint application that produce entirely new and sensational visual effects.


Posted on July 1, 2012 .