"As Above, So Below"
New York, 542 West 24th Street
On the surface, Michelle Doll’s meticulous and lovingly rendered figures represent the familiar touch between a couple, the closeness between a mother and child and intimate moments of ecstatic love. Beneath the surface lies a deeper esoteric purpose hidden in the wrinkles of vibrating flesh and the weight of the interwoven forms. Although the subjects are literally represented below as observed from above, her paintings are ultimately meditations on spiritual alchemy - an attempt to engage in the illumination of consciousness through the reconciliation of opposing spiritual and terrestrial energies. In this way her work can be viewed as a treatise on the divine connection between the microcosmic individual and the macrocosmic context to which all of us are a part of the universal whole.
Her models are her close friends and family and there is a requisite trust and vulnerability between the artist and her subjects that is palpably visible in the compositions. These are real couples sharing moments of real love and tenderness with the artist, (and her audience). As Doll explains, “I want to live in a world where women and men feel loved, understood and nurtured by both giving and receiving love. Where intimacy feels natural and acceptable, it’s the starting point for the greater understanding of human desire for acceptance and connection.”
If her earlier work reflected a desire to create visions of the intimate connections she wanted to experience in her own life, this new body of work seems to imply that she has found what she was looking for. Her new paintings are celebrations of light rising out of darkness, proud testaments to the highest aspirations of human emotion. Heavens on earth if you will. Here, Doll is the champion of our greater potential, defying the folly of our faults and vices with a sincere gratitude and faith in the power of love to connect us all and bring us closer to oneness with the cosmos.