Jan 30, 201310:12 AMCulture
Fun and Culture in the Mid-State
Five Questions for Michael Fisher
Michael Fisher is an artist and photographer.
While obtaining his BA in Communications from the University of Tampa, he focused on filmmaking, screenwriting and overall story telling through whatever mediums were available.
Michael’s artwork walks the line between dark surrealism and comical illustration, often open for varied interpretations.
He works as the Technical Director for the broadcasting of horse racing at Penn National Race Course.
Michael’s work at the MakeSpace will include setting up a functional darkroom and honing in on imagery that engages the viewer’s psyche.
You are aiming to create something with elements similar to an illustrated children's book and you describe your sensibility as dark surrealism - that's a fertile place for your work to intersect. Have you always observed this tension in your work, or is that coming out with this new project?
My work has always had a touch of strange. It has gotten less goofy and more somber over the last few years.
I'm aiming for more of just an illustrated book, and not a graphic novel in traditional sense because I don't want to be bound to frames and word bubbles, and I've got no intention to draw strong men fighting each other. I honestly don't know what to call it, or know what it is, but that's exactly what I want the end result to be. So I guess I'm headed in the right direction.
You work in broadcasting for the Penn National Race Course. Is that a separately rewarding pursuit, or does it circuitously inform your art?
Working in a live television broadcast is not a creative outlet. The hours of operation are antisocial. I haven't really seen a Friday or Saturday night in seven years. I'm sure man riding beast is heavily ingrained in my psyche and I can count at least three pieces of my art that have this theme, but my art self and my work self are very disjointed.
Will you be writing your illustrated book/graphic novel hybrid, or storyboarding it for someone else to write? If you could collaborate with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
I am attempting to tackle both writing and illustrating.
I used to write every night, for years, and have a floppy disk with a five hundred page "story" floating around somewhere. But I also know that a mind can get lost on these grandiose projects, so I'd be putting this up for critique often.
I wouldn't mind kicking ideas around with Alfred Hitchcock. He was so good at developing entire stories from a tiny little scene in his head. I could certainly use his help expanding on the vague concepts I've got brewing.
What's your favorite thing you've done, and what's something you would love to do?
Going to Venice put me in a pretty good head-space, so I'd like to venture back there at some point. I'd love to have a warehouse where I could get real sloppy and unleash the madness. Also, instigating a deadly game of cat and mouse with my doppelganger.
Is there another person whose career you would like yours to resemble, or do you enjoy having your own fixed or hazy idea of how your working life should be?
Kyle Cooper, the guy behind the opening credits to Walking Dead, American Horror Story, Dawn of the Dead, and Se7en.
I'm an art and film dork, so these visual collages that hint at a larger story really resonate with me. It's cool that almost no one knows who he is. A few do, and they seek him out for a particular vision that only lasts a minute and I imagine has very little production-politics attached to it.
Of course, I just sort of arbitrarily picked someone I enjoyed. I personally wish I got more things done, finished - or even started - half the ideas that surfaced in my head, and could keep the creative drive up and steady rather than having it come in spastic bursts.
In theory I'd like to be a "full time artist" but the few people I've met who assign themselves that title kind of rub me the wrong way, so I'll just have to figure it out. I'm fine with that.