MICHELLE MANSOUR: Warrior of Renewal (Emerald) and Warrior of Clarity (Blue Topaz) (diptych-availab
Acrylic, ink, and silicone on muslin on panel
64 x 36 in
Michelle Mansour is an artist, educator, curator, and the current Executive Director of Root Division, a visual arts non-profit in San Francisco. Her work as been shown in a variety of non-profit and commercial venues and can be found in both public and private collections. Mansour’s work is a convergence of art, science and spirit. She says that her paintings are based “on an investigation of the interior world of the body where beauty and illness mingle in the same fluids and membranes…[and] become a broader reflection of where science and the metaphysical intersect.” Her work invites the viewer to slow down and contemplate their own mind, body and spirit. Mansour’s process includes the application of fluid pigment to wet surfaces, the marked ground referencing a stained biology slide. She then applies tiny marks and patterns to create an ethereal space where particles gather and disperse in an endless geometric cycle. The repetitive process of adding layers of material to the bead-like patterns create an interconnected relief of rhythmic texture, ordered like data points but rendered in gemstone colors that are reminiscent of chakras or healing crystals. Traversing between organic fluidity and structured symmetry, Mansour uses this combination of techniques to ask us to reflect on “what we can and cannot control, as well as the exquisite and delicate balance between certainty and faith, what is known and unknown, and holding on and letting go.” Mansour’s themes come from growing up in a family of science and health practitioners; her mother was a nurse and her father was a doctor. Her focus on this subject matter intensified when her mother was diagnosed with, and ultimately lost to cancer. The process of repeating layer upon layer, mark upon mark, becomes a devotional practice, much like prayer beads or a meditation to contemplate the relationship between spirit and matter, presence and loss.