Michael Magrath

Michael Magrath has spent most of his life in the Pacific Northwest. He discovered figurative sculpture while in his early thirties, and has since dedicated his life to the betterment of his craft and the furtherance of sculptural art. Primarily self taught, he has nonetheless studied and taught in a number of rich sculptural environments, including the University of Washington, the Florence Academy of Art in Italy, and Gage Art Academy.

Reflecting a decade spent in the building trades as a carpenter, painter, foundryman, and shop technician, he brings a craftsmans approach to his work. Regardless, his interest in the figure naturally steers toward the narrative and symbolic. Of no particular denomination of religious faith, Magrath attempts to excavate, understand, and depict the universal truths that lie at the core of religious and human experience. His primary focus lies in the embodiment and reinterpretation of mythology in contemporary contexts, and is most interested in its potential to reinvigorate the human spirit, particularly in the face of the cynicism of the modern world.

I approach sculpture as a process of expressing, whether in concrete or ephemeral form, something otherwise intangible. I have spent the last two decades or so focused primarily on the human subject not only because it is hugely accessible, but because I perceive something implicit in the body that remains inchoate, vibrant, and continuously relevant. The human form is the composite total of what our forebears found irresistible. The material world is the body of the divine. I do not pursue realism for its own sake, but consider clear and direct observation an intense and deeply rewarding discipline, a path to uncover something as yet unknown. For me study of the specific form and attitude of the individual before me is a way of exploring and understanding the deeper structures of the universe.
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