Friday, December 31, 2010


I have been chasing the art my entire life. As a young boy growing up in the Palm Springs area I remember being pulled out of school for day trips to Los Angeles area museums. I was obsessed with cartoons, drawing, photography, television, and magazines. My parents encouraged my creative side and supported my need to express myself by buying art supplies and letting me turn my bedroom into an artists studio littered with drawings, magazine clippings, and experimental works-in-progress. 

In my early twenties at an art opening in Los Angeles a photographer approached me, asking if I would model for him. This was the first time I was photographed in the nude and the experience was liberating. The process was not sexual, but it was erotic. We shot several times, experimenting with light and different development processes. I would pick up envelopes full of prints, multiple pages of the same image. The imagery, like the shoots, held a tinge of eroticism. I have gone on to shoot with a number of other photographers. Most notably Firooz Zahedi, who is well known for his cover shoots with Hollywood’s elite and Jay Jorgensen, whom I believe is a rising star in the world of photography and male nudes.

The result of the photo shoots sparked an idea of using the images to create self-portrait paintings. Most of these early paintings were experimental, but from my first piece to the latest work, they are all connected. Words like love, and symbols such as my birth year (1969 and 69), tally marks, and my initials are reoccurring graffiti-like elements in all of the paintings. The paintings are moments in time and they are autobiographical expressions. 

At 41 years old I am in the best shape of my life and confident in my work. I am having a blast collaborating with photographers like Firooz, Jay Jorgensen, and Alonzo Gault, among others. I am interested in exploring the dynamics of censorship and eroticism with the photographers and artists I collaborate with.

The process of creating new imagery and making a new painting is unpredictable. I have to approach the ideas with the understanding that I need to be open to allowing the unknown to guide me. I feel lucky when a new work is completed because so many things need to fall into place for it to be right and balanced.


My art and the photo-shoots reveal everything about me and I am putting it all on display for the world to see. If you look, you will judge, but that is part of the subjective nature of art. New photo-shoots and new paintings bring opportunities for me to express my point of view. They allow me explore the creative side of being human and an artist. As a model and artist my art attempts to spin artifacts of memory, censorship, and eroticism into impressions of dynamic beautiful obfuscation. Inspiration for my paintings is derived from the human body, photography, color, lines, rhythm, nature, and the world around me. The paintings are multilayered and complicated, just like us. I want my work, whether in front of the camera or in my studio, to be provocative and edgy. I am trying to push the boundaries and create something new and interesting.
©2010 - Michael Hinkle

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1 comment:

David Costa