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Mike Estabrook
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Sunset Park



ARTIST STATEMENT: My work is deeply rooted in the tradition of fantastical figurative drawing and painting found in everything from medieval European paintings, Chinese scrolls, and communist murals, to contemporary comics and cartoons. I find the use of the human (or monstrous) figure in art to be a basic and indispensable means to communicate fundamental truths about political realities, identity, and emotional existence. For several years, I have been making cutout figurative works that leave behind the confining rectangles of frames, stretched canvas and panels. This is an act of subversion - defying the easily commodified form of the framed art object, while freeing the figure from any predetermined context. I take these discrete figurative elements, and make sprawling installations with them, allowing each new site to define the particular configurations of the work. In addition to small cutouts, I also make large scale two-dimensional paper puppets, which feature in an accompanying series of animations. These puppets range from 7 feet to 12 feet in height, and are made up of 10 or more discrete parts. I like to take these parts - a hand, a weapon, a head, a shin, etc., and use them separately as elements of the sprawling installations mentioned above. I liken this process to the Dada and Beat technique of Cut-Ups, where writings were cut up and reassembled, making way for chance and intuition to define the final product. The imagery I use is frequently political in nature. I make drawings and paintings of things like predator drones, invasive wildlife, fighter jets, abusive police, and otherwise naked men in lacey KKK robes. These installations are an emotional response to the political situation around me, intended to convey a surreal impression, rather than expressing a literal didactic message.
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Artist Links:
Mikeestabrook.com
 
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  • Shadow
    2019
    graphit on paper
    22" x 30"
    This is the largest of a series of ghost drawing that I have been making. These images express the despair that, as a middle aged artist, one dances with now and then.

  • Wave Weaver
    2019
    acrylic on paper
    22" x 30"
    This is one of my recent ghost works. As described in "Shadow", these works are a way of finding vision in hopelessness.

  • Lace Klan
    2017
    Oil, acrylic, ink, gouache, colored pencil, plastic trash bag.
    12' x 8'
    An installation of painted lace KKK and related imagery.

  • Lace Klan
    2017
    Oil, acrylic, ink, gouache, colored pencil, plastic trash bag.
    12' x 8'
    An installation of painted lace KKK and related imagery.

  • The Undead Militarism of the New York School (their monsters are our predators)
    2017
    Installation with painted paper, plastic, cardboard, and shrinky dinks

  • Ikea Guns (the march)
    2016
    Screenprint on Cardboard
    performance with various sized boxes
    Ikea Guns (the march) was the performance element of a project done for a show in Sweden called Che Brooklyn, and is essentially a Swedish adaptation of of a work I did in Brooklyn in 2007 called Stan

  • Ikea Guns
    2016
    Screenprint on Cardboard
    12'X8'X9'
    Ikea Guns was a project done for a show in Sweden called Che Brooklyn, and is essentially a Swedish adaptation of of a work I did in Brooklyn in 2007 called Standing Army. In that work I created an a

  • Punk Camping 2242
    2016
    Interactive video installation
    whole room installation 12'X12'X12'

  • Punk Camping 2242
    2016
    Interactive video installation
    whole room installation 12'X12'X12'

  • Warriors of The Dragon Teeth
    2015
    Video installation with Plastic sheeting, gravel, tape and cardboard
    14' diameter circle by 14' high
    'Warriors of The Dragon Teeth' is a site-specific installation themed around the taking of the Golden Fleece by the Greek hero Jason. It is inspired by Georgia's historical association

  • Warriors of the Dragon's Teeth
    2015
    Video installation with Plastic sheeting, gravel, tape and cardboard
    14' diameter circle by 14' high

  • Shadows on the Wall of the iCave
    2014
    Mural
    three murals, each 18'X14'

  • Shadows on the Wall of the iCave
    2014
    Mural
    18'X14'

  • Lair of the Phantom Dandy
    2014
    Video installation, paper, ink, acrylic.
    16"X12"X12"
    This work was created for Mixed Greens' ParisScope program - a peephole in the gallery that purports to look straight into a gallery in Paris. Demonic Forces torment Charles Baudelaire, to a read

  • Paper Nemesis
    2012
    Acrylic on Paper Puppets
    This is the installation of puppets from the "Paper Nemesis" project. This project involves large scale paper puppets which are each used in a stop motion animation. As shown in this photo

  • The Prayer
    2012
    Stop motion animation
    This is a still from The Prayer, a stop motion animation in which I explore the legacy of my catholic upbringing.

  • Ghost Pollock
    2012
    Stop motion animation
    This is a work in progress showing a ghost Jackson Pollock first drinking with me, then stabbing me with a paintbrush. The phosphorescent green is the product of glow in the dark paint.

  • Popes
    2009
    Acrylic and metal leaf on cardboard
    21 figures, each 44" high

  • Standing Army
    2007
    Acrylic on cardboard
    50 lifesize cardboard figures
    The Standing Army is an installation of 50 life-sized cardboard figures. Made from from scavenged cardboard, each one is based on poses taken from army recruiting pamphlets. The core inspiration is Qi

  • Standing Army, Bushwick Invades Williamsburg
    2007
    Performance with cardboard figures
    For my installation Standing Army, I organized a march, to get these cardboard figures to the gallery. We marched 50 figures from my studio in Bushwick, to the gallery in Williamsburg.
 








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