Michael Cutlip’s collage work is inspired by the aesthetics of found papers out in our urban world.
Four years ago, his work demanded change but, he truly didn’t know what that change was or how to go about finding it. At some point, while walking the city streets, the process arrived- paper! Cutlip began gathering papers wherever he could find them, then, bringing them back to the studio in the hopes something could come out of this inspiration. What he discovered was that the use of paper and the random shapes it presented him, became the driving force behind a huge transformation in his work. All of a sudden his compositions exploded and he began to explore directions in the work he didn’t think were possible.
Four years later, Cutlip is still gluing paper but, as art should do, it has also begun to move and transform into something a little bit different. At this point he is interested in shape and color and the notion that less really is more; a lesson Cutlip is learning in life in general, at this point. He may work the piece for days, even weeks, but in the end, only a select few compositional elements can remain, the rest are buried in the process which at the same time, gives the work a strong sense of history. This is something that really reveals itself along the edges of the work.
Cutlip draws on the raw energy of urban life when crafting his mixed media works. Mixing found paper and paint on panel, the artist creates abstract compositions that highlight the juxtaposition of color, form, and texture.
An artist with a following in the Bay Area and beyond, Cutlip’s exhibition history includes shows in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Vancouver, BC, and in 2014, he won the Alameda County Arts Commission Purchase Grant. Cutlip’s work has been acquired by the corporate collections of Microsoft, Bloomingdales, Kaiser Permanente and the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, to name a few. His work is also featured in the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara and is a part of singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan’s private collection.
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Cutlip now resides in Kona, Hawaii. In addition to creating work of his own, the artist has worked as a private art instructor for the past four years, teaching workshops and ongoing weekly classes in his personal studio.