Michael Azgour


My paintings explore the ubiquity of photography in contemporary culture and the numerous ways images enter our personal space. I refer to images as a way to peer into our collective experience in a fast-paced digital world. The concepts and subject matter of my work rely notably on my travels and experience as an outsider in a foreign country. Having spent several years in Eastern Europe, I regularly look to my paintings to resolve cultural disparities, fusing ideas and images I’ve accumulated along the way.

Even though we live in a globalized world in which so much is standardized, the customs and values differ immensely from one country to the next. I juxtapose seemingly unrelated elements as a way to exemplify these differences using paint as a form of metaphor or hyperbole. Dichotomies are frequently employed as a way to highlight distinctions. Light emerges from the darkness, the crude becomes delicate, and the abstract becomes real. In this way, I aim to create works which are rich in content yet open to interpretation, so each viewer might have a unique experience of their own.

My process of composing works and layering paint calls attention to the divergent paths painting and photography have taken in the past century as fine art mediums. Although I aim to strike a different chord in each painting, there are some common themes that run through the breadth of my work such as: references to digital photography and video, representation of memories as fleeting recollections, and the process of painting as a subject in itself.


Azgour’s award winning paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museums in the United States and Europe, including solo shows at Art Museum of Los Gatos and Robert Green Fine Arts in California, as well as Art Fairs such as artMRKT San Francisco, Silicon Valley Art Fair and Los Angeles Art Show. His work is part of dozens of collections, including a recent commission by Stanford’s Packard Children’s Hospital. Michael is a part-time faculty member at Stanford University, teaching drawing and painting courses for the Architectural Design and Continuing Studies programs. His teaching experience has included a wide array of subject matter within the visual arts, primarily in painting and drawing but also in graphic design, architectural drawing, professional practice, and art/design history.