The American painter, Michael Lasoff, has been producing art in the Netherlands for more that 25 years. His use of acrylics is colorful and his style is a unique combination of figurative and abstract elements. Fired by the imagination, Lasoff has developed a strong and impressive oeuvre. The artist’s reputation is growing just as much as the number of solo exhibitions. He has participated in major art fairs in Holland, as well as galleries and other international contemporary events. Lasoff avoids the use of names to describe his individual style. While working in a post-modern culture, where all means of expression from magic realism, surrealism and expressionism to experimental and abstract schools of art are available to the painter, the artist has distilled these visual extremes to a complete and personal imagery. These are pictures that are not about something, but rather are something. They articulate a state of mind. Concerning the titles of paintings, the artist has said that these are only suggestions or indications to direct one’s attention. They are reference markers alongside the viewer’s reflective experience, paintings to stimulate fantasy. Lasoff does not sketch before painting nor does he work with a model. He paints quickly forming what at first appears to be a chaos of lines, dots and splashes of color. As the picture proceeds, intuitively, fragments of a face, hand or object begin to materialize. It is as if the images are creating themselves. The human figure, notably the female nude, is the central subject matter shaped within magical lines and magnificent color. Some of the women stare at the viewer while others deliberately avoid a glance, perhaps meditating or concentrating on some unknown object. To the artist, pictures are a window to the soul. These figures are penetrating, moving, but also funny and joyful. The nudes are more than just that. The bodies are placed in an uncertain environment where secret objects and vague contours populate the space, leaving you guessing at their meaning. While focusing on figurative or open narrative paintings, Lasoff has also consistently experimented with abstracts. Along with concerns for color, form, shape and composition, the surface plays here an important role. Eruptions, splatters, carvings, pasting, scratching and many more techniques are manipulated to conjure a special skin, a texture that speaks for itself. The medium of acrylic paint lends itself excellently to the artist’s designs. In his studio, the paint is applied quickly, employing a whole arsenal of color while using such diverse tools as sponges to spray cans. There is a suspense in this process which is exemplified by opposing frantic chaotic areas against simple, flat and larger shapes. The tensions between detailed explicit forms against excited energetic areas, the juxtaposition of softly modulated pastels with bright clear color accents, all the twists between seriousness and humor, this play of oppositions lies at the core of Lasoff’s work. Michael Lasoff does not belong to a group of formula painters. He paints because he has to. In his own way, for him, it is as essential as breathing or eating. Lasoff is constantly seeking for new means of expression as can be witnessed by recent shows; ever changing, ever exploring, ever in search. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Copyright © Michael Lasoff 1999-2007 No image or written text may be reproduced in whatever form without the written permission from the artist.