acrylic on linen, 11" x 14"
Michael Reafsnyder’s painterly abstractions convey a sense of delirious happiness. Although they look like the product of spontaneous gestural painting, Reafsnyder’s works are carefully crafted to convey their sense of frenetic energy--each brushstroke, a thick swath of acrylic, or vibrant color deftly deployed in the creation of an overall sense of manic exuberance. Falsely conjuring the Action Painting of Abstract Expressionism, his bright canvases are often more playfully sarcastic and confrontational than lyrical. He uses super thick layers of acrylic paint on canvas and arms himself with plastic blades - never brushes - to create deep, saturated abstract pieces that are laborious, well-thought-out, and carefully composed.
Los Angeles art critic David Pagel says of Reafsnyder, “His works couldn’t be more contemporary. Comprised almost entirely of aggressive smears of screaming yellow, electric blue, fire-engine red, and pure white paint squeezed straight from the tube, these whiplash images make Impressionism’s rapidly dabbed surfaces look like fussy Old Master compositions. Jazzed up by an occasional skid of purple or black, they also recall Willem de Kooning’s classic canvases, whose furious surfaces look as if they’ve been chiseled or carved in some kind of transformative frenzy. For viewers, this simply means that Reafsnyder’s art is a pleasure—even a joy—to behold. After all, it causes you to smile, and then returns the favor by smiling right back at you.”