Michael Cox: Paintings Hovering in
Sea animals and mythical creatures settle into a world that borrows from ours but abruptly departs into splendid fantasy. Exotic women cruise through abstract scenes and pose in 1920s settings. Crystal mountains rise from shimmering pools of water. Artist/animator/musician & a true Bird Whisperer, Michael Cox introduces us to images that he says are straight from his dreams. The visual experiences he builds are clear-eyed with a wealth of detail and a flood of color.
Tuning into his web site, michaelcox.com, is an experience that brings together the clarity of his vision backed by original music that he performs and records in his own studio. When his paintings are put into motion and characters all but step out of the canvases, they take on a life of their own and beckon the viewer to become a part of that larger vision.
Cox, a Napa Valley
artist, was born in Fort Lauderdale. As a boy, he lived on an Indian reservation in the Northern Arizona desert where he learned to ride bareback on wild horses. He learned how to listen to the heart of the Animals and they were comfortable around him. Later, he lived in the timberlands along the Russian River where the deer and raccoons on his property became gentle friends. An owl would allow him to stroke its feathers, as Michael fed him out of the other hand. Drawing on the kaleidoscope of his past, Cox creates paintings that present themselves with startling clarity and brilliance, pulling us into a world of idealized gentleness and beauty. “All living things have the right to live and be treated with respect and dignity,” he quotes.
Jeff Jones, Film Editor at Walt Disney Animation says, “Michael’s talent combines the power of innocence and the magic of wonder in ways that transport us to places we have never been, yet recognize immediately for the emotional connection they spark…suggesting that we may have visited these worlds already…and, perhaps, not long ago. Never have I experienced an artist so driven, so compelled to present opportunities, visually, for us to arrive at a better place emotionally.”
Cox’s work has been internationally recognized and applauded. The honors he has received include Outstanding Achievement Awards for book covers,
magazine covers and animations for several publishers he represents.