Michael Kondel paints from distant memories of growing up on a farm in Michigan and the proximity those have to the urban life he currently lives. The rural landscape provides a fertile language that connects and details aspects of land and humanity. His paintings employ hand-hewn wood beams, the gold of a wheat field and other textures to set up a framework used to sift through these ideas. This framework acts as a scale weighing out ideas from his agrarian upbringing and the urban world he inhabits today. Kondel’s work celebrates and revels in the wreckage from the collision of new technology and cultures, and the begrudging coexistence with consumerism. Through abstraction he aims to bring the viewer closer to a constant tug of war between the primal versus the avant-garde.
Born in the eighties and raised on a farm, Kondel holds a critical lens to the impact of the internet, a global world view and the advancement of technology. His work aims to tear down traditional ideologies and watch the impact it brings, while notating some skills and ways of life to preserve. In speaking of his work, “Im aware of where I came from and sometimes to forget as I become a new American. I contemplate the complex strengths and shortcomings of myself and others on the threshold between the rural and urban.”