|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|From San Francisco, Michael Shankman paints light-filled city scenes,
especially focused on the glow of approaching sunset. He says:
"As these sources of light intermingle, they elucidate a point of time
and place that I and six billion others call home." He depicts
neon cutting through clouds, light across canyons and glow from
skyscrapers and apartment windows. He loves the various angles
and vantage points of his city and the contrasts between light and
dark, illumination and shade.|
Shankman was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, the son of parents
who were professor at the University of Colorado. They saw to it
that their son had a cultural upbringing, and during his fifth grade
year, he had private classes with illustrator Alexy Pendle who exposed
him to a wide range of creative approaches to visual expression.
Much of Pendle's influence is evident in Shankman's work, which
although not illustration, has enough reality to allow people to
immediately relate to the subject matter. He is also strongly
influenced by the paintings of Edward Hopper---the pensive, lonely
Shankman attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, but
instead of studying art, enrolled in classes in mathematics and
political and socio science. He is especially interested in
spatial relationships and by notions of chance and coincidence and
"probabilities based upon variables."
He spent a year in Italy as part of his college education, and this
experience of being immersed in classical, Renaissance art turned him
away from his original formal studies to art. He said he "walked
out my math class my first day back and dropped the major." He
declared a major of global studies and combined this academic pursuit
with private painting classes. His teachers were Jane Callister
and Dimitri Kozyrev, and he got a painting studio on campus. He
began to sell his work and also got some portrait commissions.
After graduation, he him imposed a deadline of two years upon himself
to make a success of himself in art, a goal that he met. With
friends, he shares communal space in the Mission District for painting
and sharing of ideas, and they live together in a group of about 16
young people, calling themselves Million Fishes.
Todd Wilkinson, "Michael Shankman Paints San Francisco Noir", Southwest Art, February 2006, p. 90-93.
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