Michael W. Hecht




"The artist who offers portraits of the self offers a vehicle for human communication and a means for moving beyond solitude." -Lloyd Kramer

"The mind moves in a strange world, caught between terror and ecstasy." -Georges Bataille


Contemplation of life requires meditation on death. My art making hinges on this dichotomy. I believe this is why I interrogate self-portraiture. My portraits locate and even celebrate the solitary uniqueness of the individual. At the same time, they showcase the individual in extreme emotional or altered psychic states that unleash expressions of inner passion. It is my experience that such passions (no matter how "anti-social") force the individual (no matter how seemingly alone) toward universal experience. As such, anguish, laughter, eroticism, and drunkenness reflect the human desire for melding with the universe, for "losing one's head". It is the disparate individual's desire for self-loss, self-sacrifice, or self-forgetting---of the fleeting sensation that the boundaries of self are obliterated into cellular union with the other, perhaps even with the cosmos---that I am striving for in my work.

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All content © 2011 Michael W. Hecht. New Bedford, MA.