Michael Pearce is a British figurative painter who lives in Ventura County, California. He is internationally known for his leadership of The Representational Art Conference (TRAC) series and his huge figurative “Secret Paintings” which are presently touring the United States.
While on the surface Pearce’s paintings are romantic contemporary escapes from the hard edges of daily life, celebrating colorful flowers and beautiful people, there’s a mythic depth to them that reveals the artist feeling his way out of deconstruction by drawing upon archetypes and allegories from the West’s deep past, from centuries-old emblem books and alchemical symbolism. Pearce digs for conceptual themes in the paintings that capture his audience by encouraging their individual imaginative interpretation of the events he has painted. There’s meaning here – a reconstruction of ideas bigger than ourselves – that makes these paintings feel greater than their already large size.
Pearce teaches painting and drawing at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. He is author of Art in the Age of Emergence, a remarkable book about the aesthetics of representational art in the emerging present age. He has a Phd from Plymouth University, an MFA from the University of Southern California, and a BA (Hons) from Dartington College of Arts.