Based in Alta Dena, California, “Mike Stilkey has always been attracted to painting and drawing not only on vintage paper, record covers and book pages, but on the books themselves. Using a mix of ink, colored pencil, paint and lacquer, Stilkey depicts a melancholic and at times a whimsical cast of characters inhabiting ambiguous spaces and narratives of fantasy and fairy tales. A lingering sense of loss and longing hints at emotional depth and draws the viewer into their introspective thrall with a mixture of capricious poetry, wit, and mystery. His work is reminiscent of Weimar-era German expressionism and his style has been described by some as capturing features of artists ranging from Edward Gorey to Egon Schiele.”
Stikley’s work has been exhibited at the Kinsey/DesForges Gallery in Culver City, California, the David B. Smith Gallery in Denver, Colorado, the Gilman Contemporary Gallery, Ketchum, Indiana, and the Rice University Gallery, Houston, Texas. In May 2010, he will be creating an installation for the “Art From the New World” exhibition at the Bristol’s City Museum & Art Gallery. His wall of 2,000 books will form a ten-foot “canvas” that will greet visitors as they enter the museum.