About the Artist
Mike Sutton was born in Oakland California in 1950. He received his BFA from Santa Fe University of Art and Design in 2017. Mike has shown work on the west coast including a group show at The Room Gallery in San Rafael, California, the Rising Moon Gallery and the Abiquiu Inn, both in Abiquiu, New Mexico. Mike is a contributing member of the El Rito Studio tour in El Rito, New Mexico and was part of a group show at the Taos Art Council, Taos, New Mexico. Mike has had one solo show as well at Counter Culture in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Mikes work was also featured in the Annual Art Council Tour Magazine 2013. Mike recently had his Thesis Show in the Southwest Annex Gallery on the Santa Fe University of Art and Design campus. He is currently serving his internship at the Santa Fe Art Institute ( SFAI) and is scheduled to have a show at (SFAI) August 21-25. Times Tba. He is currently searching and reviewing graduate schools working to show his work and connect.
Artist: Mike Sutton
The idea behind the “Dancing Monks” came while waiting at a stop sign. While observing three Tibetan Monks in their traditional yet festive colors of gold and maroon moving about engaging with people who were also enjoying the warm August day in Santa Fe in this little slice of a park, three tables three Monks and no one was sitting.
In that moment I felt a sense of humanity as those dressed one way conversed with others not dressed like them and yet with fluidity and without reserve. There was a sense of connectivity a sense of depth between the people that I saw expressed in that movement as the robes of the monks flowed and the casual and friendly faces of those not dressed in the robes resonated naturally with the beaming faces of the Monks. At that moment I thought surely these folks are not strangers. There was a connectivity and the energy flowed.
People being present, and what I mean is paying attention to the words and expressions of others stimulates that need within all of us to connect, in a way that is understood we are the same spiritually.
This last year for many people, myself included has been a trying time, and as the Dalai Lama says and I paraphrase “ We are all doing the best we can.” You might say no, no no that’s not so! Well, I totally understand that feeling and would suggest that in that moment we all turn our attention inward on ourselves and not others in an effort to understand who we are as individuals.
While at that stop sign and in that moment, less than a minute my faith in humanity was restored in a small way just by watching people engage on a non-confrontational level and in that primitive moment of community that familiarity, that timeless moment it makes sense. It makes sense that love is what people need. People need to get off their phones and talk more, turn off Facebook and go to nature.
I’m influenced primarily by landscape and its topography and use it as a springboard for exploring the ephemeral or fleeting and using its constant state of flux as inspiration. Seemingly limited by two dimension I’m always looking for that other level or portal which allows me to defy this time/space continuum and those so-called limitation, bringing not only connectivity to me but hopefully creating a unity between the work and the viewer. Nature is without bias and is perfect in its un-perfection. It is beautiful.
As I continued to develop this body of work I become increasingly more excited working at this scale. I felt the choice of and use of color might provoke a sense of awe using a primary scale in an effort to simplify the plane for the viewers to step into. I hope the Dancing Monks provoke much engagement with the viewer perhaps on more that one level, within and without. Thank you.
“Perception is a mirror, not a fact. And what I look on is my state of mind, reflected outward. Perception is a choice, not a fact. But on this choice depends far more than I may realize as yet. For on the voice I choose to hear, and on the sights I choose to see, depends entirely on my whole belief in what I am.”-Albert Einstein.