Michael St. Amand (May 12, 1958) born in Danbury, Connecticut, an American painter and digital artist, studied art at the Wooster Arts Center in Connecticut and at the Art Students League of New York. However, St. Amand’s artistic development was largely the result of self-teaching.
In the mid 1970s, he met artist Gertrude Barrer, credited by art historians as having been a leading contributor to American Modern Art and considered one of America’s most important avant-garde artists by Clement Greenberg in 1946. As a mentor, Barrer gave St. Amand advice and encouragement. St. Amand experimented with the use of raw, vibrant colors, fabric, photos and other found objects, geometric shapes and expressionistic movement. The results of his experimentation created a setting for real and abstract subjects to exist harmoniously within each piece of work.
In 1991, St. Amand moved to Southwest Florida settling in Fort Myers. Immediately, he was represented by the Naples Art Gallery, the most prestigious gallery at the time. The gallery agreed to show thirty paintings. Shortly after his arrival, the artist was heavily involved in the arts community, and became lifelong friends with Laurence Getford, Lawrence Voytek and Kat Epple, Emmy Award winning recording artist. During this time, he also met Robert Rauschenberg. St. Amand also used the computer as a medium on which he created and designed his multimedia and digital art.
In the late 1990s, St. Amand ventured to Seattle where high-tech innovations were developing. His digital art and programming skills were in great demand. In 1996, he won a Corel award for 3D digital animation, when 3D animation was in its infancy. In 1997, he invented “Virtual Instruments” for Fluke Corporation; developed one of the first Microsoft Channels using push technologies on Microsoft’s Network. His digital work was included in the Whiney Biennial in the RT Mark installation, in 2000. St. Amand was a pioneer and visionary of some of the technologies now used every day.
The artist moved back to Southwest Florida in 1999 to concentrate on painting and continued to exhibit nationally and internationally. In 2008, Epple, Voytek, and St. Amand collaboratively produced a project called “Peace and Flambe'” which was a homage to the 1950s “Happenings” that John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and Robert Rauschenberg created. Rauschenberg attended the opening and was elated. He stated that it took him back to the times of his old performances. Rauschenberg died later that year.
St. Amand’s “Slave to Vanity”, a contemporary, interactive art installation occurred in 2010. The artist offered a stirring and evocative look at society’s obsession with a flawless and youthful appearance. St. Amand created a custom vanity table, complete with leather handcuffs and mirrors, which originally inspired the entire event. Multiple functional pieces were made to engage the viewers in exposing what it means to be a vanity slave. Surrounding the interactive work were paintings and sculptures depicting aspects of perceived beauty and perfection.
In January, 2012, St. Amand’s painting “Mundata Sonata 8” was published on the cover of the European contemporary art magazine “Visual ArtBeat” and included a cover story about his artwork. The same year St. Amand was invited by the Georgian Ministry of Culture to exhibit his mixed media paintings, digital art, and video installations in the “Punctum Contra Punctum International Exhibition” at The Georgian National Museum, Shalva Amiranashvili Museum of Fine Arts, National Gallery in Tbilisi, the capitol city of The Republic of Georgia. Michael St. Amand was the first American artist to exhibit paintings in this Georgia national museum since the country gained its independence from the Soviet Union.
Michael St. Amand’s 2013 projects included Expose New Orleans where two of his works were displayed on a billboard sponsored by CBS over a four week period during Mardi Gras and the Super Bowl; exhibiting in INCOGNITO: Naples Museum of Art, Naples Florida; quadriART: EAGL gallery Berlin, Germany; and with the endorsement from the Georgian Ministry of Culture, and the Georgian National Museum had two major solo museum exhibitions: Human Condition: “Myths and Mayhem”, at The National Museum of Georgia, The Tbilisi History Museum, in Tbilisi, Georgia. and The Signagi Museum of The Georgian National Museum, The Republic of Georgia July 2013. Michael was the first American to have an solo exhibition at the Signagi Museum. The last non-Georgian to have a solo exhibition at the Signagi Museum was Picasso in 2009.
The book, Michael St. Amand “Human Condition: Myths and Mayhem” was also published, with forward by Richard L. Tooke (Former Director of Rights and Reproductions at MoMA); essays by Ketevan S. Kintsurashvili Ph.D. (Art Historian, Critic and Writer) and Robert P. Metzger Ph.D. (Director Emeritus of the The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and the Redding Museum).
In 2013 St. Amand returned to Georgia and was awarded The U.S. Department of State Federal Assistance Award for participation in Punctum Contra Punctum International II at the Georgian National Museum in Tbilisi, Georgia a contemporary art exhibit and to conduct related speaking engagements. He was the director of the American Edition which was the first cultural exchange between the U.S. and Georgia.
In 2015 Michael St. Amand has the honor of being one of the 50 Contemporary Art Masters by noted critic, writer and collector, Michael K. Corbin
“Michael St. Amand’s paintings awaken our senses to profound truths concerning our world and our place in it.” Robert P. Metzger, Ph.D.
Michael St. Amand has earned numerous awards for his work. The artist has been listed in Art in America Magazine’s Who’s Who in American Art. He has exhibited his art nationally and internationally, including Paris, Bordeaux, New York City, The Georgian National Museum Tbilisi, Georgia, Germany, Dallas, New Zealand, Washington, D.C., and throughout Florida. His work can be found in many corporate and private collections.