Thursday, July 3, 2014

Learning More About COCA Artist Michel Misho

Born Michel Schorro in Lausanne, Switzerland, Misho moved to San Francisco at age 25 to become a professional drummer, touring and recording until 1984. Semi-retiring from music, following a US tour & a record release with Housecoat Project, he spent the next 15 years traveling the world teaching and taking photographs.

In 2009 he opened  Misho Gallery in San Francisco. Since then, he has held solo shows with his photographs in San Francisco, Buenos Aires and in his native Switzerland.  His pictures can be seen in the lobby of various buildings in downtown San Francisco, including the public utilities building.
In 2010 Misho expanded the gallery to help promote local abstract art from local artists and beyond. In 2011, he started collaborating with San Francisco artist Johnny Botts. Misho provided his abstract photographs as a background and Johnny painted over them with spaceships, robots, and other fantastical forms, leading to the "Spaced Together " exhibit in May 2012. One of those pieces was featured in the New York Times.

At the beginning of 2012, he expanded one more time to house a group he calls “Photo Nouveau," comprised of artwork that is abstract, cutting edge, and avant-garde— anything but “déjà vu”.

He is a very active member of the San Francisco Bay Area artist community, and also shows work internationally. This September he will work in collaboration with Pichai Poogsasaovapark, a Thai artist featured in a solo show in his gallery. The collaborative work is schedule to show for the month of February 2015 at the Baan Teuk Art Center in Chiang Mai. 

Keep reading to learn more about Misho's process and influences as an artist.

What is your primary medium and process?
My primary medium is photography but I see myself more as a image taker than a photographer. The images I capture are all reminiscent of abstract painting. In some way I extract the artworks that both nature and urban decay provide us and bring it to people attentions. I am fascinated with randomness and antropy. The way the drops lay on the sidewalk when somebody knocks a can of paint. The way a piece of metal rust when exposed to the elements.

Lately my need for challenges pushed me to start paintings. I love working with industrial acrylics. If my photographs are influenced by  abstract expressionist  artist, my paintings have a strong Asian influence. Both in China & Japan painting and calligraphy are often side by side and complement each other. I do love the subtlety and serenity of the old ink wash. Instead of trying to capture an images the painters capture the energy of the objects, the serenity of moment. This is what I do in my paintings. I start with a landscape whose serenity is extracted down to a very minimalistic  primary color. Then I let randomness guide my brushes and the paint.  I let randomness funnel the energy and the emotions of the moment into the canvas.
How long have you been an artist?
I started studing photography at age 14, buying my first SLR camera and learn to develop black & white photographs in my parent kitchen. At 16 I started concentrating on rock and jazz photography. Leaving very close to Montreux and their yearly jazz festival provided many opportunities for my passion. Also, I never stop taking photographs, eventually playing music became more important than capturing it on film and I moved to San Francisco. My new reincarnation as a visual artist started in 2008.
How do you describe your style?
Abstract expressionism with Asian influence.
What inspires you to keep motivated?
More than a inspiration it is a need. The need to keep creating and challenging myself. I do get bored easily. I guess the challenges are what keep me motivated. The challenge to get better at what I do, the challenge to create something new & beautiful. I do want my art to be beautiful. I do feel the pain and the anger than a lot of artists experience but rather that expressing it and chronicle it, I decided I want to fight it with beauty trying to make this world a better place.
What is your favorite part about being an artist?
The constant renewal of emotions.
Who are your favorite artists past or present?
Jimi Hendrix,  Ludwig Van  Beethoven, Richard Deibenkorn, Gerhardt Richter, Barnett Newman.

See more of Misho's art on his website, and stop by his gallery for a visit! Click here for more information, location, and events.

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