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 Mike Desatnick  (1943 - )

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Lived/Active: Colorado      Known for: genre-Indian dance, portrait-child

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Ad Code: 3
Mike Desatnick
from Auction House Records.
A Maiden of the Bear Dance
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers, I:
A Realist/Impressionist painter of Southwestern Indians, Mike Desatnick was born in Hammond, Indiana, in 1943 and has been living in Durango, Colorado.

“I have been attracted to the American Indian,” he declares. “I find their beauty, character, and simplicity of life which harmonizes with nature to be very special in these sophisticated times. My own heritage is filled with hard times, and I relate that to the Indian’s experience.”

During high school. Desatnick was offered a scholarship to the American Academy of Art in Chicago but family obligations required that he work in a steel mill. Being drafted for combat in Vietnam made him “decide that if I ever got out of there in one piece, I wanted to do something better with my life.”

After he was discharged, he entered the Academy and in two years won 22 awards. Before graduation, he was hired as a commercial artist and after another two years was offered a position as instructor at the Academy where he taught for six years.

“I don’t get into preliminary sketches,” he states. “As valid as they can be, they bore me. I get very excited about a subject that I’m going to paint. I’ll study my material than I’ll do the painting over and over in my head, maybe a thousand time. When the painting is resolved in my head, I go directly to the easel, make a basic sketch on the canvas, then paint. Each painting is so personal that if something comes up that takes me away, I’ll never go back to finish it.”

Resource:
"Contemporary Western Artists", by Peggy and Harold Samuels,1982, Judd’s Inc., Washington, D.C.

Biography from Trailside Galleries:
A native of Hammond, Indiana, Mike Desatnick grew up in a housing project and started his career as a steelworker and sheared steel until his draft into the Vietnam War in the mid-60s. His interest in art started in his childhood, but it is not until 1967 that he had the opportunity to attend the American Academy of Art in Chicago, taking advantage of the GI Bill. He later returned to this institution as an instructor.

Mike’s subject matters are mostly Native American Indians and traditional ceremonies. Twice a finalist in the prestigious John F. and Anna Lee Stacey Scholarship Fund, Mike Desatnick has exhibited at the Allied Artists Show in New York, and the Indianapolis Hoosier Salon, where he was awarded first place in the figures and portraits.

In 1983 and again in 2002, he participated in The Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage show. His stature among his peers and art critics is demonstrated by his selection to show several of his paintings in “The China Experience”, a Western Art exhibit that traveled to Peking, China in 1981. One of is paintings was selected as an official poster for the China Exhibition.

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