March 1993 by Peggy Sealfon

A show of the laser-enhanced oils and three-dimensional art of Michael St. Amand. At the Griffin Gallery, 4303 Pine Island Road, Matlacha, Through March.

Addiction - Mixed Media on Assembled Canvas - Michael ST. AmandMichael St. Amand at the Griffin Gallery, 4303 Pine Island Road, Matlacha Florida

To walk into a room filled with the creations of artist Michael St. Amand is to experience an intense and eye-arresting array of color, kinetic abstractions, and symbolism. His enormous mixed-media collages are boldly daring reflections of the world: an amalgam of images, refracted and redefined through the perceptions of this talented and dynamic artist.

One of the most vivid works in the present exhibition at the Griffin Gallery is an eight-foot triptych entitled “Chronicle,” a forceful composite of divergent influences combining action and inaction. Faces stare out of canvases; some thoughtful, some searching, some erotic, some troubled. Symbols of religion, sexuality, politics, and nature are all combined in a psychedelic coloration energized further by a black and white streak of lightening that joins the piece together. Images are drawn, painted, cut out or culled from newspapers and are hurled at us in flashes almost like a fast-paced music video. It’s difficult to assimilate all of the ideas at once and the result is a provocative impression that forces us to think—or to walk away.

St. Amand’s works vibrate with energy and light. Some, like “Shooter” and “Smoker”, combine multiple odd-shaped canvases to form a sculptural sense of space. Others bring together mixed media including collage, found objects, wood and even laser beams. The breadth of St. Amand’s work is impressive as he uses drawings, unbridled fluorescent color, newspaper clippings, and even laser light to evoke a different sense of reality. The impact is exhilarating. The exhibition includes a courageous undertaking of an outdoor light display of lasers that shines on Matlacha Pass drawing attention to the precarious shoreline and wildlife preserves.

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