Artist Q&A with C. Michael Norton
C. Michael Norton was born in North Dakota in 1951, and has been living and working in New York since 1987. He received an MA in 1979 in metal fabrication, and an MFA in mixed media plastic arts from San Jose State University in 1981. His large-scale abstract paintings echo the cacophony of urban life today. The competing surface tensions confront each other, creating a visual orchestration of discordant and harmonic tonalities. The compositions, resembling visual soundscapes, explore the notion of depth, both spatial and psychological.
He settled down permanently in Tribeca in 1992. The struggle to achieve maturity in painting came to fruition after the World Trade Center was destroyed in 2001. The morning of September 11, the artist was in his studio when he heard the first plane hit. He immediately went to the street with his wife to see what happened. As he rounded the corner on West Broadway, looking ten blocks south just after the second tower was hit, he asked his wife, “How the fuck are we going to fix that?” This question remains central to his critical thinking today.
Who is your favorite artist of all time?
Vincent Van Gogh
How did you become a professional artist?
By default, I was unequipped to pursue any other vocation or profession. Although I love history, storytelling, music, I never found a way to articulate myself in those professions or disciplines. It was visual art all the way if I could see it I could do it. I climbed on the backs of many other artists through manipulating their techniques and their visions early on, but I eventually found my own … Click here to read more