Michael Memete

Artist bio

My name is Michael Memete, I am a self taught Melbourne based artist inspired by the old masters, in particular those of the 17th century Dutch Golden Age. Each of my paintings is created using the highest quality materials possible, including paints I grind by hand as well as flax oil (“linseed” oil) that I have cleansed and prepared by hand. Each piece I create is a one off and though themes and objects may reappear I will never make copies of a previous work. I am my own harshest critic and believe that each piece must be of a certain level of quality before it leaves the studio and I can be comfortable asking somebody to buy it. Vanity, mortality, philosophy and wisdom are all themes I like to explore in my work and I aim to improve my craft with each painting I complete. It is my hope that there are people out there who would like to support me on this journey as I aspire to reach mastery and play a small part in restoring the beauty of traditional art in modern times.

I create art because...

The first reason is because being creative is as necessary to me as it is for me to eat and breath, it is a way for me to express who I am and explore and interpret the world around me. The second reason is to share that interpretation with others. I want to remind others that there is beauty in simplicity and that in a fast paced world where we have allowed ourselves to be convinced we have no time, that it's still important to stand before a picture, to be alone with ones thoughts and to look.

I am different to most artists because...

I would say that I am different because I am committed to the process of mastery. I feel that today we want everything instantly; we are no longer interested in the journey and the lessons to be learned while we are on it. Each time I create an artwork I aim to improve and to further my understanding in the making of art. I also have a strong interest in the materials I use in creating my art and use hand ground pigments as well as prepare my own oil.

When you look at my art, the thing I want you to feel is...

I suppose I want you to feel human. I want you to remember how important all the small things we seemingly take for granted are and how removed from who we really are we’ve become. I want you to remember that there is always time for you to take out of the day for yourself. That there is beauty and joy to be found in the most simple of things and that though our time here may be fleeting, we have the ability to achieve things that transcend our own time on this earth.

The thing I most want to say to non-artists is...

Don’t be afraid of your own creativity and don’t underestimate the power of art and the positive influence it can have on our lives. We all have some kind of creativity within us, it doesn’t matter what form it comes in. If you are brave enough to commit to the process then you are sure to have a fulfilling experience and one that is full of reward. Find your creative spark and start feeding it, it isn’t easy, you won’t become good overnight, but it is certainly worth the effort.

I believe art is an important part of our lives because...

It enhances our lives; it helps us to dream and to imagine, to be inspired while aspiring to greater things. It reminds us of our past and paves a way into our future; it is a testament to how unique we just so happen to be. It opens a window into ourselves as well as what we believe and think. Art is important because it helps us to understand the world we live in and in darker times, to better endure it. It is a reflection of who and what we are. That’s what makes it powerful.

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