Michael Koehler is a Pittsburgh native and Art Institute graduate. Though "Lost, Found" will be his first solo excursion, Michael is no stranger to the Pittsburgh art scene as he has taken part in a number of group shows and themed exhibitions at multiple Pittsburgh galleries and venues including >fwd Gallery, Moxie Dada, Modern Formations gallery, and Garfield Artworks. Michael has also been invited to contribute pieces to salon shows at the infamous La Luz de Jesus and FireHouse galleries in Los Angeles. Not surprising, as the 27 year old has a masterful illustrative style complemented by a deeply personal mythology. Often influenced by the natural processes of life, death, and regeneration; the subjects are sometimes animalistic children, strange creatures, and cubistic robotic men who dwell in isolated dream-like landscapes. The work illustrates the dynamic between bright and dark, a feeling of stagnation within limitlessness, and the possibility of happiness within a stale nightmare. And although such themes can easily be heavy and dark, Michael is careful to keep a sense of humor and playfulness at the heart of each piece. These characters are often portrayed as tense yet somehow at peace, part of a grand transformational scheme that happens to take place in a remnant location. The characters at play in his world seem to have a life beyond what has simply been painted onto a board.
Michael's first exhibition at The Gallery 4, Lost, Found, Somewhere In Between, opens Saturday, March 3rd - March 24th, 2012 at The Gallery 4 (206 S. Highland Ave., Shadyside, 412-363-5050). The opening reception will take place Saturday, March 3rd, 2012 from 7-10PM and will be opened to the general public with complimentary refreshments and hors d'oeuvres provided by The Gallery 4. The Gallery 4 is open Tuesday through Saturday 1- 8PM .
Michael, on the show:
"Lost, Found, Somewhere In Between is a deeply personal exploration into the depths of a grieving mind, clawing it’s way toward an answer. Examining both the crushing defeat that comes with a loss and the transformation necessary to find meaning and acceptance. But the process is not just black and white; lost then found. It is somewhere in between that lies the vast gray area of uncertainty. I have used this show as a vessel towards my own rehabilitation from a recent loss. Each piece is a channel into the process of finding one’s place within an unfamiliar world, and finding one’s self from the loss of another."