Michael James Walton
On View December 13 – January 14, 2018
We are surrounded by guidelines, rules and laws that govern our actions, our thoughts and sometimes our emotions. To be fair, the intentions behind many of these directives are there to protect us from harm or to help us appreciate and enjoy our lives. However, there are times when these governing actions place a burden on us. When policy becomes so onerous that they inhibit innovation, creativity and freedom, we lose more than we gain. In Christ’s time, the Pharisees instituted hundreds of extra laws and lost sight of their focus on God and the true path to salvation. When Christ healed a man of his crippled state, the Pharisees were focused on the fact that work was performed on the Sabbath rather than the fact that a man was healed through a divine miracle.
“Guidelines – Rules—Laws” takes a look at two aspects of this paradigm. In Signaling Alarm the focus is on the growing ideal of pleasing all the people all of the time. This is difficult in a diverse and expanding community. There are over a hundred and sixty different languages spoken in the United States. It does not help that the level of entitlement is increasing in our culture and the laws attempting to satiate the hunger for equality across the land are imposing burdensome mandates and restrictions that our progress forward. Label Me is a series of twelve individual works that act as labels for imaginary works that embody the sentiment of the title within each piece. This series of prints is in reaction to the force placed on artists to conform and limit our innovative and creative experimentation. We are told to follow the rules, stay within the policy and conform. This series is testing the boundaries of patience by overtly conforming to the policies, rules and defacto law of the land.
About the Artist
Michael James Walton was born in Key West Florida. He grew up living in San Diego, Midway Island and Chesapeake, VA.
Michael’s primary area of concentration is Printmaking and Sculpture. He is experimenting with the collision of sculpture and printmaking / papermaking. He is still developing the focus of his practice, but his topics range from the aesthetic of organic shapes and volumes, to issues of the human experience that are generated from his personal belief in what Jesus Christ did for all of mankind and to the atrocities that man act out against man.
His recent research has been in the areas of Child Exploitation primarily with the Child Soldier, the management of what God has provided to man through the natural resources and how man manages or mismanages these resources and cognitive issues generated from mental illness through depression and anxiety and how we live as the sufferer or the supporter.