Rendering traditionally cheerful images and concepts into frightening, yet humorous, tableaus, Michael Mararian often focuses on children as the last bastion of innocence to explore the dark humor behind social and psychological issues. What can on one level be construed as melancholy and cruel, can alternately be viewed as amusing, even charming. He enjoys letting his viewers decide.
Michael is a graduate of the Art and Theater program at the University of Bridgeport as well having studied at the Arts Student’s League in New York City. His work has previously been shown worldwide at Corey Helford Gallery and Thinkspace Gallery in Los Angeles, Bristol City Museum in Bristol England, Galerie D’Art Yves Laroche in Montreal, Last Rites Gallery in New York City and the Antonia Fraunberg Gallery in Dusseldorf, Germany.
My work explores elements of contradiction. I am especially interested in examining how humor and tragedy coexist within our society. In my latest work I continue my focus on combining pathos, humor, shock value and the absurd, in a collection of concepts and ideas that I have been exploring for the past year and a half. Expect to see paintings on found vintage books, magazines and ephemera as well as glimpses into the beginnings of upcoming series including “Over Stimu-lie”, “Horrible Gifts for Children” and a contemporary re-imagining of Edward Gorey’s “The Gashlycrumb Tinies”
The use of contradiction is an integral part of my work to magnify the absurdity of any given situation and draw a conflicting reaction from the viewer. Often times these themes are combined using real children as my inspiration from various forms of photography.