Michael Tole, Fight II, 2013

Come see this painting in the Folly show I’m curating at Figure Ground Art Gallery in Seattle, opening Nov 3rd, 2022.

As an experiment, Tole set up multiple sessions of male and female models who didn’t necessarily know one another and let the models improvise poses. A consistent dynamic emerged: the models would start by fighting and wrestling before progressing to an awkward dance and finally cuddling. The monumental size of the painting and the intense action indicate that the painting is historically specific, but Tole states that it’s “really about small group dynamics scaled up to history.”

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