Michael Bell - new exhibition at Flinders Street Gallery

Published by: Marcelle Heath | 24-Sep-2022
Michael Bell brings his expressionist pop art to Sydney for playful spring exhibition. #michaelbell #flindersstreetgallery #popart #contemporaryart #painting #australianart
Michael Bell is a much loved and respected artist from Newcastle, in regional NSW. Winner of the 2020 Kilgour At Prize, Bell is recognised for his playful and colourful relief artworks that draw inspiration from popular or consumer culture.

Bell stages his absurdist figures and icons into Newcastle's suburban landscapes. He offers the familiar and real word in a novel pop fashion. With clever nods to art history, vintage animation and mass culture, Bell brings charm and satire to his social commentary.

Like so many artists, Michael was confined to home during the Covid lockdowns, stopping him from social interaction and extended everyday activity. More importantly it prevented Bell’s regular soul-searching walks and field and observation studies that informs of much his work. The joy of 're-emerging' from isolation and studio lockdowns of the past two years is evident in the new work.

Michael Bell creates a dialogue with the viewer by (re)-introducing his neighbourhoods and cultural environment through these pop-art scenarios. Take a walk with the artist by the local lake or beach, be part of the canine mischief with his new pup, ‘Kelly’, grasp the joy of takeaway ice cream cones, paddle pops and pizza, celebrate the excitement of being outdoors again.

Bell describes this series as “a happy slow-burn of expressionist pop”. You can feel the artist winking at the viewer. As you survey Bell's paintings, you can only smile right back at him.

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