Michael Godard Explores Velvet and Bronze Art
When examining the art of Michael Godard, it’s quickly apparent he wants viewers to enjoy themselves as much as he enjoys creating it.
This is why Park West Gallery’s exhibition “Lights, Camera, Olives!” includes fun and fascinating works of art that go beyond Godard’s traditional canvas paintings.
“I never want to get stagnant,” he says. “My subjects might have something in common, whether it’s alcohol or whatever, but the way that I do the painting, I always want to keep fresh.”
Black-velvet painting may have a reputation for being tacky, but Godard has elevated the medium to create fun, brightly-colored works of art. He says the idea struck him after finding a black velvet poster he had in his childhood room.
“These were so big back when I was a kid in the ‘70s, and people had Bruce Lee or Elvis or matadors on them,” he says. “They have such a unique look.”
Painting on black velvet has roots established as far back as the 13th century. The subject matter back then generally portrayed religious icons, but in recent history, they depict everything from animals and clowns to popular celebrities.
Black velvet is perfect for Godard, who often uses black backgrounds in his paintings. He decided to buy rolls of black velvet so he could experiment with the unique medium. When the velvet works were presented for the first time during an event in Florida, collectors instantly flocked to them.
“People that are my age remember those paintings and had them in their house, and it’s just so much fun,” he says.
Godard says creating the original works is difficult and time-consuming because the material soaks up the painting, but the end result is worth it.
“The colors are so bright against that black velvet, it’s amazing,” Godard says. “It’s very unique, you can’t reproduce it.”
A Bubbly Bronze Sculpture
The animated olives, grapes and strawberries have entered the third dimension with a limited series of bronze sculptures by Godard.
Godard’s first-ever sculpture, titled “Bubbly Bath,” is of a strawberry sitting back scrubbing itself with a brush. The work of art is a play on words, referencing both bubble baths and people complementing their glasses of bubbly champagne with strawberries.
“I just try to have fun with the art, and hopefully the fun I’m having connects with the person on some level,” he says.
After seeing the positive reactions from collectors, Godard says he may create more sculptures, and reminds his fans to expect the unexpected from him.
“You’re going to come to a Park West show and see something that you’ve never seen before,” Godard says.
Be sure to visit the “Lights, Camera, Olive!” exhibition before it ends on November 18 at our gallery in Michigan or online.