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Michael Fantuz’ vision is fed by extensive travel and experience in aviation and exploration. His large-scale palette knife works invite the viewer above and into his aerial perspective on landscapes and cityscapes.
The paint is thickly applied, bold in colour, and based in Fantuz’ discipline to limit his tools to palette knives only. This forces an intuitive engagement with the colour and density of the materials over the minute precision that smaller brushes would afford. Both the knife stroke and viscosity determine an aesthetic that reflects movement and abstraction; the stroke is wider, with bold impasto edges. This invites attention to tone, hue, contrast, and a more open compositional focus, which Fantuz embraces. The subject is seen from a distance rather than in tight close-up. Bright contrasts evoke the dynamic light play across a broad perspective visible only from a distance.
Fantuz’ connection with his subjects and materials is personal and felt. He inherited his palette knives from his grandfather, whose own artistic practice spanned decades. The knives carry layers of artistic legacy. Fantuz also brings his close relationship with landscapes to the canvas. His exploration work across multiple locations, as well as his aviation work above them, inform a broad perspective on our larger surroundings.
Bringing this perspective to his studio work is a meditation on the power of art to connect the painter and viewer alike to something larger than ourselves. Fantuz strives to honour this power. Quiet hours spent creating in the studio have a settling effect from mundane distractions and obstacles, opening avenues to larger levels of experience. Fantuz seeks these avenues in his time at the easel, with confidence that an individual’s deeper experience is closer to our collective experience, and that the viewer can enter along with him into the scale, perspective, and vision of his works.
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