Robert Michaels’ skill as a photographer, combined with his ability to manipulate imagery using computer software, results in an amazing and visually engaging portfolio. Visit his website to see more of his work.
I am an American photography artist, painter, and digital photo illustrator. I received my formal education in different artistic disciplines, namely fine art and painting, photography, and commercial art. Early on, I studied at Los Angeles Art Center of Design, University of California at Los Angeles, and Otis Art Institute to strengthen my artistic skills. I hold a degree in commercial art.
In the 1970’s, before I ever picked up camera with any serious intent, I started out as a photorealistic painter admiring and studying the techniques of well-known photorealistic painters such as Chuck Close, Richard Estes, Ralph Goings, Don Eddy, Duane Hanson, etc. I painfully and exhaustively attempted to create what a camera lens might have seen strictly through my paintings.
Over the years oil painting became less and less my rendering choice. I moved progressively towards traditional photography (landscape, wildlife, studio work, etc.) and was fortunate enough to attain a great deal of success.
I am now transitioning or departing from traditional photography. In its place, I found a limited form of abstraction based on realistic figures that totally fueled my creative drive. This was achieved through the intensive use of digital fine art photography to create entirely new environments. My original photographic images were used to manipulate and reinterpret shapes and colors to explore new visual possibilities. I am fortunate to have developed imaging skills over the years with the use of the computer and certain graphics software programs (well beyond Photoshop) to be able to create imagery and concepts that otherwise would only remain in my mind.
Ironically, I have gone from pure photo-realism paintings to fine art photography through computer enhanced high-resolution imaging that approaches the feeling of a painting through many image manipulation applications. Many of my photographic images are used in combination (sometimes thirty plus images are used in a single composition) to create a single fine art photographic digital painting. I found out years ago that artistically I could achieve so much more control over my image renderings (and save an enormous amount of time) than I could ever do through traditional painting (no paint fumes either!!).
Over the years, I have worked with numerous commercial clients rendering photo-illustration images for advertising, editorial, print work, and creating seemingly endless catalogs and magazine covers (both consumer and trade). I have also exhibited my fine art painting in many high-end art galleries and prestigious juried shows around the country.
Based now in Sedona, Arizona, I have been a Master Signature Artist in SAGA (Sedona Area Guild of Artists) and have had several fine art exhibitions in Arizona.
I have also published two books: Award winning book published: “Shine to Rust – An Appetite for Vintage Cars and Trucks” in 2005 and “Monumental Visions-The Fusion of Old World and Contemporary Art” in 2014.