Bio

Artist Profile

Michael Hollenbach was born on June 4th, 1968, in Saint Louis, Missouri, as the youngest child of 7. Ever since a young age, Hollenbach displayed a devilish love for art. One of Hollenbach’s earliest creative successes was in 2nd grade when he drew a tank during a snow day, and realized he was “better than average.” After being expelled from Catholic school in 4th grade due to the accusation of being mentally retarded, Hollenbach disliked his creativity to the extent he failed art class up until high school. He then took 4 periods of art a day, and followed his passion into Junior College. Hollenbach moved around frequently after attending the Kansas City College for sculpture, until he ended up moving to Colorado with one of his many lovers in 1997. From this point, he worked specifically with the medium of clay for the majority of 18 years. In 2015, Hollenbach took his art in an entirely new direction with the medium of acrylic paint. He has continued to paint on a nearly daily basis since then, and claims that, “I currently like art,” in a slightly sarcastic tone. 

Hollenbach’s paintings are similar to the works of James M. Bougery and Charles Errard due the repetitive nature of the shapes used to achieve the composition of their pieces. Hollenbach often uses squares and circles, while Bougery uses an immense number of dots, and Errard produces endless overlapping lines to achieve the image displayed. All three artists also divide their canvases into thirds, and produce pieces with the center third configured in order to be the main focus of the article. Along with this use of division, they also display stronger contrasting colors along the two vertex edges of the art piece to create a sense of depth that helps guide the audience’s eyes.  

Hollenbach’s paintings have far more differences than similarities to the works of Bougery and Errard due to the significant variation in art styles. Hollenbach paints within the sole realm of abstract using acrylic paint, although Bougery and Charles’ art remain hyperrealistic using the mediums of pen and ink. Hollenbach also works with a color palette of fluorescent secondary colors, while Bougery and Errard produced art with less creative colors. Bougery composed near photographically accurate anatomical illustrations, using only pen and colored ink; Errard worked solely with black ink due to the time period he lived, and produced drawings with an astonishing level of realistic anatomical detail. 

Hollenbach produced his first praised acrylic paintings in Colorado during the summer of 2015. These early paintings were entirely abstract, and possessed a color pallet that was composed of basic tertiary colors. His early paintings contained an immense amount of repetition using the outlines of either circles or squares as the primary shape that consumed the canvas. Within his paintings, the focal point of the pieces often lied within the center third of the image, with different colors used to divide the painting into thirds. His early work contained an immense amount of color, but lacked any depth produced by shading. 

In the spring of 2016, Hollenbach began supplementing tissue paper within his acrylic paintings, and even scrap wood. These paintings retain a deeper level of contrast using darker shades of blue, and a stronger intensity.

During the summer of 2017, Hollenbach was confused by the harsh words of a famous abstract artist regarding his use of color within his pieces. After a few weeks of being in a daze, Hollenbach attacked this stewing issue, and began producing art with a substantial amount of depth, and the use of selective secondary colors. These paintings display a mastery of color use, and balance within the abstract art style. 

Within the last 6 months, Hollenbach has created a new style of abstract art using the repetition of layered circular cut outs. Hollenbach is nowhere near done with his abstract art journey, and plans on painting for a long time. 

Written by Connor Lambrecht