Artist Spotlight: Michael James Cisarik

The Miller Gallery recently caught up with Michael James Cisarik, one of our newer emerging artists from Houston, Texas. We are a big fan of his gestural abstracts, and wanted to learn more about his story and process. 

Q: How did you first get into painting?

A: It actually all began during the pandemic, quite sporadically and unplanned I’ll add. I had moved into a new apartment when the lockdowns hit and after one of my artist friends created a piece for my new space, I wanted to try and began painting in my kitchen as an outlet. After a few months of honing my style and experimenting, friends and friends of friends wanted to buy pieces and it snowballed from there. In only a few years, I’ve gained some great recognition from both national and international publications and institutions and now hold gallery representation at 5 locations across the U.S. It is truly amazing at how far I have come and I am lucky to have such great and loyal clients, gallery representation, and supporters, like Miller Gallery.

Q: What and/or who are your inspirations?

A: Much of my inspiration comes from personal experiences and natural elements. When creating I attempt to mimic my emotions with sporadic movements and complementary palettes. By placing colors, accents and textures in certain locations and accompanying these elements with a captivating title, I feel that the viewer is able to fully immerse themselves in my work and feel a reaction rather than particularly “seeing” a figurative object or element.

Q: Do you have a favorite tool or medium you use while in the studio?

A: Probably my soft white pastel. I usually have a few on hand just in case I run out mid-project! I love how it can be manipulated to be a thin and rigid line or smeared to be worked into other surrounding colors and textures…I think this adds a soft, bright aspect of movement to my work.

Q: What does your "typical day" look like? Do you have any routines that are important to your studio practice?

A: Since I work full time, almost everything happens at night or on weekends. Depending on my work day, I typically like to unwind in the evenings by painting. A crucial element for spurring my creativity is creating an environment of peace, silence, and neutrality. I rarely like to paint in a space that has a lot of color or noise, so I can be fully emerged in the work in progress. Further, sometimes I work on multiple, differing pieces at once so that I can rotate depending on my mood.

Q: Could you tell us more about this new series? What was the inspiration or thoughts behind these new pieces?

A: The new series at The Miller Gallery is a collection of paper and canvas works, centered upon soft, natural, and coastal elements. Focused upon shades of blues, greens and other complementary light accents, these pieces are inspired by the East Coast and its surroundings. Whether it be beaches, wildlife, water or even the feeling and sounds of crashing waves or whispering grasses, these works are intended to uplift yet calm any space. Further, I purposely created these works in a size that can fit a wide range of spaces...each piece can be a standalone statement work or accompany a collector’s diverse gallery wall.

Q: Do you have any exciting projects or features coming up that you would like to share with us?

A: 2024 has already been so busy, with many more exciting projects to go. Next up for Charleston, I am so pleased to participate with The Miller Gallery in "The Playlist” exhibition later this month and further, am excited to debut a very unique piece I have created specifically for this show. In the southwestern U.S., I am finalizing a very special collaboration with Alexandra Killion Interiors and just recently released a collection at my gallery representation in Austin, Texas entitled “Intention”. Lastly, I am approaching the launch of my next canvas collection entitled “Odyssey”, which will be launched mid-April at an undisclosed location. Lots of exciting things to come in 2024!

Thank you for tuning into our deep dive with Michael James Cisarik! His available works can be viewed here