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For all other inquiries, contact the artist directly.
Michael is currently working between Kraków, Poland and San Francisco, California.
Michael Azgour is an actively exhibiting artist whose work addresses concepts related to photography in contemporary culture. A native of California, his works combine evocative representation with geometric abstraction, reflecting upon memory, technology and fleeting moments within the human condition. Azgour’s award winning paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museums in the United States and Europe, including solo shows at the Art Museum of Los Gatos, CA and Hohmann Fine Art in Palm Desert, CA, as well as Art Fairs such as artMRKT San Francisco and Los Angeles Art Show. His work is part of dozens of collections, including a recent commission by Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Michael is a part-time faculty member at Stanford University.
“Azgour’s works are expressive and geometric abstractions informed by an involved process that combines a strategic, realistic technique with pattern and repetition and the muse of accidental surprise. His figures seemingly float with one foot firmly planted in the present while the other wafts into the past. Paint becomes pixel, blur or distortion mirroring the disconnected snapshots and video clips that that populate our social media profiles. He challenges the viewer’s interpretation by combining unrelated imagery in the same composition. Although the disparate visuals and juxtaposed compositions appear random, they are in fact bits of narrative from the artist’s own life and travels.” –Kimberly Nichols
Michael is a lecturer at Stanford University, teaching drawing and painting courses for the Architectural Design and Continuing Studies programs. His teaching experience has included a wide array of subject matter within the visual arts, primarily in painting and drawing but also in graphic design, architectural drawing, professional practice and art/design history.
From the art studio of Michael Azgour, this stop motion video captures the creation of a painting from start to finish. The art piece, entitled ‘Man Walking’ was completed in 2015.
Music by Kevin MacLeod. Special thanks to Boris Suvorov.
My paintings explore the ubiquity of photography in contemporary culture and the numerous ways images enter our personal space. I refer to images as a way to peer into our collective experience in a fast-paced digital world. The concepts and subject matter of my work rely notably on my travels and experience as an outsider in a foreign country. Having spent several years in Eastern Europe, I regularly look to my paintings to resolve cultural disparities, fusing ideas and images I’ve accumulated along the way.
Even though we live in a globalized world in which so much is standardized, the customs and values differ immensely from one country to the next. I juxtapose seemingly unrelated elements as a way to exemplify these differences using paint to as a form of metaphor or hyperbole. Dichotomies are frequently employed as a way to highlight distinctions. Light emerges from the darkness, the crude becomes delicate, and the abstract becomes real. In this way, I aim to create works which are rich in content yet open to interpretation, so each viewer might have a unique experience of their own.
My process of composing works and layering paint calls attention to the divergent paths painting and photography have taken in the past century as fine art mediums. Although I aim to strike a different chord in each painting, there are some common themes that run through the breadth of my work such as: references to digital photography and video, representation of memories as fleeting recollections, and the process of painting as a subject in itself.
“Most artists his age haven’t found themselves yet and Azgour presents us with a consistent style, wonderful set of skills and original ideas.”
“Now that we have gotten the painting up on the wall we are loving it more each day.”
“Michael has displayed all the qualities that we look for in an artist and he lives up to the high standards we demand from our artists regarding professionalism, quality, consistency and integrity.”
“These are paintings that invite one in and reveal depth of feeling and interest. For me, I see something new each time I look at one of Michael’s paintings. They are warm and peaceful if one is merely walking by without focusing on the painting. However, they also provide interest and depth should anyone stop to examine the paintings.”
“Azgour’s talent and diligent work has earned him a teaching position at Stanford and a recent solo exhibition at the Art Museum of Los Gatos (south of San Francisco); both accomplishments for an artist
of any age, but a sire indication for a promising career for an artist merely in his 30s.”
“I love Michael’s work, in general, because of its abstract realism. While he paints figures and scenes, there is a beautiful abstraction to his work so that the shapes, paint applications and use of color and patterns evoke moods and reactions that go far beyond the straightforward subject matter of the painting.”