Michael Reafsnyder’s paintings and sculptures burst with color and abundantly joyous frenetic energy. Described as a “raucous… delirious engagement with painterly hedonism” by Christopher Knight, LA Times, Reafsnyder’s work empties every color in the rainbow, sometimes directly from the tube. While it might be tempting to compare Reafsnyder to the angst-ridden Abstract Expressionists or overly-cool Gerhardt Richter, he, like other young painters of his generation, drops any pretense about hierarchy and art history lineage. Only Reafsnyder does it with a nod and wink, including a quick smiley face (two dots and a curved grin) in all of his work.
Reafsnyder’s paintings instead can be understood as a tour-de-force of sheer, ecstatic making. Entire paintings are completed in a single-session, though most don’t make it through his brutal editing process. Critic David Pagel explains, “With oddball innocence—and a profound understanding of what matters in the long run—the Los Angeles artist’s deeply mischievous works transform the all-thumbs awkwardness and ham-fisted incompetence they gleefully embody into a pitch-perfect, metaphor mixing, stew of a symphony: a user-friendly, come one, come-all cacophony in which eye-rolling excess gracefully segues into eye-popping high jinx, which consistently opens onto head-spinning intrigue, spine-tingling thrills, and, ultimately, soul expanding awe.”
Reafsnyder received a BA from Chapman University in Orange County in 1992 and a MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. His work has been nationally and internationally exhibited, including Ameringer, McEnery and Yohe, NYC; Blaffer Museum, Houston; Western Project and Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles; University of Nevada – Las Vegas, Las Vegas Art Museum; and various institutions in Austria, Italy, Spain, and Germany. His work is included in numerous public and private collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, and Laguna Art Museum. Michael Reafsnyder currently lives and works in Southern California.
1Knight, Christopher, "Art Review: Michael Reafsnyder at Western Project," Los Angeles Times, Culture Monster, March 2010
2Pagel, David, “What's so funny about Exuberance, JOY, and Satisfaction? or, The Neccessity of Excess,”Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe, March 2011
Dallas Observer, Blogs, Block, Jenny, "Must-See Painting of the Day: Michael Reafsnyder's Explosive "I've Got A Feeling", December 2011
ARTnews, McClemont, Doug, “Michael Reafsnyder,”, April 2011
Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe, Pagel, David, “What's so funny about Exuberance, JOY, and Satisfaction? or, The Neccessity of Excess”, March 2011
Los Angeles Times, Culture Monster, Knight, Christopher, "Art Review: Michael Reafsnyder at Western Project" March 2010