Micah Lomel

21, she/her, Florida

I make paintings in a search for empathy. My work starts with writing, whether that’s a quick note in my phone or a whole page in my sketchbook. I’m inspired by everyday occurrences, art history, things I read, and people I meet. I gravitate towards mundane subject matters, sometimes social stigma (surrounding family and femininity), ideas of surreal, symbolism, and reflection on painting itself. The application of paint and unbalanced attention throughout the canvas seeks to control the viewers’ attention. This strategy lets me create levels of understanding dependent upon the viewers’ similarities or closeness to me.

I think color is a powerful tool for capturing a range of specific feelings and seek to exploit it to that end. Melancholy or “still water feelings” run through much of my work. I see a lot of power in rest, maybe it’s the potential energy of it, or the fact that I’m unable to ignore the stillness of the two-dimensional picture plane.

Figures are an obvious tool for depicting human experiences and I’m drawn to the subtlety of gesture required to portray a person. Often, I use my own form but sometimes I use my younger sister to depict myself. There is a large age gap between us and I see myself in her as she navigates her age and I ache for who I was. I am nostalgic by nature and painting allows me to express my ambivalence about aging out of imaginative freedom.

As an artist, I speak from experiences and use my life as lense for showing the larger trends of our shared reality. I want to dig into a moment till it exposes the world of meaning beneath, grant it a surface to exist permanently on, and then see how it evolves independently of me.