hed shot   m i c h a e l   p e t e r   r a e

    In 1998, I began to transfer some of the ideas I had been working on with chalk and sidewalks to a more durable form. At the time I was scavenging for old double-hung windows which were being thrown out all over the city as homeowners updated their fenestration. Originally my idea was to use the recycled windows as a cheap framing system. I planned to paint on masonite and mount it on the back of the window frame.

One day the creative urge came over me and I realized I had no masonite to paint on. On a whim I decided to paint directly on the glass. At first I used an India ink pen called a Posterboy. Unfortunately the ink did not adhere well and these works were easily defaced with a little water. Currently I use exterior latex and glass enamel.

At first my window paintings were derivative of Keith Haring's style with figures and objects rigidly composed, crowded and contrasted by a mass of ciphers. Over time, with the integration of the principles for solving compositional dilemmas found in architectural drawings, my own style started to develop. The special properties of the shadowbox added depth and movement to the works. By 2004, I had moved away from figures-in-space and began to integrate modern built-form culminating with my current project Urban Trees.

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