ABOUT

For twenty years I have been creating original art for magazines, book covers, ipad features and private collections.  I collage and paint digitally when I illustrate, and use various graphic techniques in my work.  I’ve been fortunate to receive recognition and awards in my industry.  I illustrate each week for The Economist Magazine's Banyan column, along with other commissioned projects.

You may purchase limited edition and open edition prints of my fine art online at my store.

MY STORY: ART & HEALING

My path to becoming a visual artist was not the usual one.  I had recently graduated from The Newhouse School of Communications with a degree in Communications, majoring in Film, and had hoped to start my career doing cinematography and film editing.  There was a small medical concern I had to take care of first, some pain I was experiencing in my right arm.  When I visited the doctor,  x-rays revealed that I had a life-threatening tumor in my upper arm.  I was told that in order to save my life I would have to lose my dominant right arm and hand. 

I began making visual art as an exercise to gain dexterity in my left hand.   I would cut photographs from newspapers, first with scissors and then later with an exacto knife, and paste them into compositions.  It was slow going at first, but after a while I was able to manipulate my hand fairly well.  My images were black and white, surrealistic personal expressions and narratives.  I called them “knife paintings”.  I experimented with high contrast prints of my montages, and fell in love with the results. 

At the time I was living in New York City.  Manhattan was a hub of creativity, and a very open and forgiving place.  You could have four arms and generally not attract that much attention.   But now and again somebody would step out of the crowd or hop off a bike and come over to tell their story.  I heard war stories, shark stories, stories about tragic accidents.  Strangers would lift up their shirts to show me their scars.  The city was a good place to heal, a fascinating place to experience life and art. 

ART BY DAY, WORK BY NIGHT

I worked nights as a legal proofreader and I spent my days visiting museums, galleries and making art.  I began making collages from movie posters that were readily available from the streets downtown, and acrylic paint.  I started showing my work around.  Some of my pieces were accepted into the East Village galleries.

Success did not happen all at once.  I took courses in drawing, painting and graphics at The School of Visual Arts and at Parsons to sharpen my technical skills.  I studied computer art.  I traveled and studied fine art for a year at Bezalel University in Jerusalem.  I painted with oils at The Art Student’s League.  

I earned a Master’s degree in English education at New York University.  I became a teacher and taught English at LaGuardia High School for the Arts (the “Fame” school) and at Stuyvesant High School.  For five years I taught literature and creative writing to many talented and enthusiastic students.  I was offered tenure at Stuyvesant. But I was aching to make art full time.  My eyes would get lost in the beautiful forms and textures of the city streets, the colors of rusting metal, the lines of fossilized bottle caps and plastic spoons and debris embedded in the black pavement.  The literature that we would discuss in the classroom weighed heavily on my visual imagination, begging to be illustrated.

FULL TIME ARTIST

I took a leap. I had always admired the illustrations of Brad Holland, Henrich Drescher and Alan Cober, among many others. I felt it was time to tackle the written word as an artist.  I started researching the business of illustration.  I bought a new computer and began painting and collaging digitally.  I would scan textures that I photographed from the streets and rooftops of the city, and paint with these.  I bought old photographs from flea markets and used them in my digital collages.  I put together a body of work, based on themes that interested me and articles that I enjoyed reading.  I set up meetings with art directors.  My art was met with enthusiasm.  Doors opened at the New York Times, at Random House, at Sony Music and many other places and the work started coming in.  I was offered assignments, introductions, and more commissions.  

Some things we can chose, and others we have to make the best of.   Every time I sit down to work, I’m thankful for the privilege of being able to make a living doing something that I really love, and grateful for the opportunity to work with the many talented writers, designers, art directors and editors who I’ve met along the way.   With the continued support of my wife and son, life is good.

 


AWARDS and recognition 

Michael was selected as one of the "Best 200 Illustrators Worldwide" and one of the "Best 200 Digital Artists Worldwide" by Luerzer's Archive. He has been recognized by Print, American Illustration, Spectrum, and Folio.

 

SELECTED Periodical Features

 

Illustration clients include: 

  • New York University
  • Ten Speed Press
  • Vintage Books 
  • ABA Journal
  • Investment News
  • Houghton Mifflin
  • Harvard
  • Duke University 
  • The Kellogg School of Management
  • Utne Reader
  • Sony Music
  • Stanford Alumni
  • Earth Island Journal
  • The New Scientist
  • Adweek
  • The Writer’s Guild
  • The College Board
  • Voices & Visions
  • Shape Magazine
  • Binghamton University
  • Beloit College
  • Barnard College
  • Computerworld Magazine
  • Princeton University
  • Pittsburg University 
  • Swarthmore College
  • University of California
  • Macworld
  • PC World
  • Bloomberg Wealth Manager
  • Contemporary Psychiatry
  • The World Bank
  • Dana Foundation
  • Science Magazine
  • Security Management Magazine
  • Consumer’s Digest
  • American Way
  • American Lawyer
  • Contemporary Pediatrics Magazine
  • Health Forum
  • Weekly Reader
  • The Progressive
  • Popular Science
  • Psychology Today
  • American Medical Association
  • HR Magazine
  • The Economist Magazine
  • Adobe
  • The New York Times
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Random House
  • Newsweek
  • The New Yorker
  • The LA Times
  • Farrar Strauss & Giroux
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Forbes
  • The Washington Post
  • The Atlantic
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Diver Magazine
  • Scholastic
  • Yale New Haven Health
  • University of Minnesota
  • Georgetown University
  • Trusteeship Magazine
  • Science News
  • Momentum Magazine
  • University of California
  • Purdue University
  • Hotelier Magazine
  • Common Ground Magazine
  • The Washington Lawyer Magazine
  • Sherwinn Williams

 

  • Government Executive
  • Seattle Magazine 
  • Zwierciadlo Magazine
  • Hadassa
  • CIO Magazine
  • Cleveland Magazine
  • Oxford American
  • Read Magazine
  • Bike Magazine
  • InformationWeek
  • The Santa Fe Reporter
  • The Times of London
  • The Washingtonian
  • Columbia University Magazine
  • Experience Life Magazine