Michael Eastman, an Oakland native, has been fooling around with art since 1950. It was back then that grandpa put a paint brush in his hand. Only 1 year old at the time, it was silly to say he had anything going. But a few years later, while studying crayons in 1st grade he received his first hard critique for a work titled Santa. His teacher, a nun, pointed out that his subject was draped in purple. It was obvious that Michael saw colors much differently from others. But Michael remembers "being hooked" on the attention. So, this little issue did not deter him from pressing on.
At the age of 7, his pursuit of excellence in drawing with crayons paid off with a contest win. A simple drawing of a cowboy earned a trip to Disneyland for a weekend. "The colors must have been right," quipped Michael. Unfortunately, his drawing talents seemed to wander. But his interest in art did not wane. A high school class in photography rekindled his search for a way to express his vision. An eye for composition in photography and a blossoming career in commercial screen printing was enough to decide to chase art in college. But again, his dreams seemed forgotten as he languished in commercial screen printing for many years.
In 2003 Michael is at street fair where he sees a large print of a digital photograph. With the desire to become a serious artist still brewing, Michael pauses for a moment and thinks "I have found a medium that I can create with." The next day he bought a Nikon D100 and soon after a large format printer. For the last 3 years, Michael has been honing his photography skills while producing large prints from unique digital photographs.
"We are inundated by average or redundant photography on the web, in print and in advertisements daily. This makes it hard to distinguish fine art from the ordinary," observes Michael. "I try to be sure my work is unique, simple, and very good before it gets out of the studio."
Michael will be showing a brand new series of photographs at Berkeley Ironworks from January 3rd to February 15th. You can also check out his website for more information or to check out his photos: http://www.eastmanfineart.com
Labels: Berkeley Ironworks, members