top of page
Painted Lady
Michael W. Surber

Painted Lady



Title: Painted Lady
Medium: Acrylic Paint
Size: 30 inches x 40 inches
Technique: Dry Brush

“Painted Lady was inspired by a grouping of colors rather than a person. The way the colors worked so well together, I thought they would make a vibrant dress”.

Critical text by Senior Art Curator Mara Cipriano

Michael Surber's exhibition explores the concept of catharsis, a principle from Greek philosophy. It is a process of total or partial liberation from persistent conflicts of thoughts. Surber succeeds in externalizing his emotions through his artistic practice, transforming it into an opportunity to express his deepest feelings. Color is his primary communicative medium. Thanks to the skillful use and harmonious distribution of colors, we can empathize with the artist's sensations. Through a versatile range of techniques and artistic styles, Surber's works evoke an intense and profound emotional response, guiding viewers through a process of deep self-reflection and emotional release. The color is at the heart of this exhibition and how it brings out an emotional state. The analysis begins with the work most anchored in the figurative. The title is "Painted Lady," and the work aligns with the current of expressionism as it is not a representation of a specific individual but comes to life from an inspired fusion of bright colors. The central figure, in a contemplative pose, seems to be caught between worlds, offering viewers a serene invitation to introspection. The colors on the dress dance harmoniously and are the key to interpreting the work, symbolizing purity in the act of emotional purification through color. By employing the dry brush technique, Surber lends the work an almost surreal quality, capturing perfectly the essence of catharsis as liberation from earthly bonds. Let's continue the analysis with a second artwork that is tied to the human component. This work reduces the figures to their synthesis and emphasizes the use of color. "Chakra First Kiss" vividly depicts the turbulent energy and emotional intensity of the first kiss. The artwork, with its vibrant, overlapping colors, introduces two silhouettes, sketched in black. From human to landscape: Echo through the Trees and Sunset through the Trees show mostly bare trees to explore the symbiotic relationship between nature and chromatism and at the same time they want to reproduce the feeling of the painter in observing and studying the colors of nature. The artist masterful manipulation of color and pioneering techniques create not just visual spectacles but portals to the soul, urging a cathartic release and providing a profound sense of purification and liberation. Nature also inspired Sunrise January 12th that introduces the third focus: abstraction. This piece was inspired by a sunrise and the colors it reproduced in that specific day (of the title); Michael created this piece immediately after having seen it, to release colors and emotions as soon as he felt it. Abstract art can be inspired by something seen or can be created by inner feelings and this is the way Que the Confetti came to life: trough movement and color as the artist states “Confetti was the first thing that came to mind when I was creating this piece. Each color is a layer and I love how you focus on one area as see something totally different if you focus on another area”

bottom of page