About mike selbach
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Mike Selbach’s primary medium is wood.
Selbach creates reliefs in bronze, wood, paper and clay. Selbach explores issues related to process and attempts to address the quandary, ‘Is the hand of the artist a first order issue or just a device to an end’. Selbach strongly believes that the artist’s hand is essential.
Woodcuts have become a primary form of expression for Selbach. Woodcuts are a special case of very low relief. His woodcuts are influenced by Gustave Baumann and German Expressionists of the Die Brucke group – Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Fritz Bleyl, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Emil Nolde and Otto Mueller. His woodcuts are printed on 100% cotton archival paper with archival inks on a 110 year old cast iron POCO no. 2 proof press.
Selbach's vocabulary is built from life, nature and art. Primitive cultures, ancient art, the figure and four footed animals inform my work. He attempts to capture the inner spirit with arresting, contemporary graphics.
He follows inspiration drawn from the German Expressionists, Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirschner, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff & the mid-century Americans Gustave Baumann and Elizabeth Catlett.
Selbach embraces the equality of fine art, low art, art brut, primitive art and the powerful current that inspires all artists who defy easy categorization. His work exists to infer color and light, to subtly and mysteriously catch the eye at unexpected moments. Ideally the viewer responds with calm pleasure and sees the work anew with each view. Selbach wants the work to reflect the world around it and subtly instruct the viewer.
The woodcuts are hand printed using a cast iron press on solid wood. Selbach uses low VOC inks & papers of cotton or mulberry. The materials reflect the qualities he seeks the work. Carvings are made with honed chisels driven by hand or wooden mallet. Power tools are for rough, rarely for finish. He chooses this approach to keep dust and noise out and concentration in the process.
Selbach received a BFA at the University of California Santa Cruz and and a BEEE at City College, City University of New York. Selbach lives and works in metro New York.