I have the eye of a photographer and the heart of a painter. My work seeks to bring together these passions to create unpredictable, painterly images in digital film. All of my photographs are created on-site and in-camera. I work against the proper use of the camera’s technical functions, instead, using it in a manner that was never intended when it was created. It is then crucial to me that the resulting images are neither re-worked nor arrived at through software manipulation in post-production. They are images of chance which portray as much about the insides of the camera’s workings as they do about the observed scenery.
Rather than “capture” a snapshot in time, my intention is to create an immersion which is a collusion between myself, the camera and the subject matter. The outcome is a series of personal, painterly responses to the world; a dynamic interplay between abstraction and figuration, between documentary and the fantastical. At times I see Gerhard Richter’s smears of paint across the image, then flashes of his works committed to realism. At times I’m near Judy Pfaff’s chaotic drawings. And at other times there appear to be little Peter Doig-like portholes in the surface, as if you could look through a crowd of people to another space altogether. I am in constant negotiation between the very precise technology of digital photography, intuition and happenstance to produce an equally indicative and elusive image.
Milly Apthorp Prize, Artsdepot Open, July 2016
CEOS, May 2019, Ply Gallery
Symbiotic Gestures, Summer 2018, Inky Stables Cafe
Venue 19, May 2018, Ply Gallery
Talented Art Fair, March 2018, Truman Brewery
City of Darkness and Light, November 2017, 508 Kings Road Gallery
October First Thursday, October 2017, Creative Debuts
New Artist Fair, September 2017, Truman Brewery
Artsdepot Open, July - September 2017, Apthorp Gallery
Small is Beautiful More and Less, June 2017, Unit 3 Projects
CEOS, May 2017, Ply Gallery
Art Innsbruck, December 2016, Innsbruck
Paratissima, November 2016, Turin
WITP, October 2016, Strand Gallery
Berliner Liste, September 2016, Berlin
Artsdepot Open, July - September 2016, Apthorp Gallery
WITP, July 2016, Greek Street Gallery
Salon des Refusés. June 2016, Space Gallery
WITP, June 2016, Clerkenwell Gallery
CEOS Group Show, May 2016, Original Gallery
YBFAMI Summer Art Auction, June 2015, Zabludowicz Collection
Michael Lee Works, June 2015, Crouch End Festival
Spring Exhibition, April – May 2015, The Moreton Gallery
Precarious, Solo Exhibition, August 2014, Upstairs Gallery
Spring Exhibition, April – May 2014, The Moreton Gallery
The Real World, January – February 2014, Upstairs Gallery
MA Final Show, September 2012, MDX University
Breeze, March 2012, Mile End Art Pavilion
Ragged, April 2011, The Rag Factory
MA Fine Art, Middlesex University
PGCE Art and Design, Goldsmiths College
Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, UCE
BSC Mathematical Sciences, University of Birmingham
Press and Publications
Profiles and Galleries
Michael Lee is a British visual artist, living and working in London.
Having gained a first degree in Mathematics, he realised his passion for art was too great to ignore. He then completed a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at UCE, followed by a PGCE at Goldsmiths.
Michael taught as a full time art teacher before travelling Asia and training in oil painting. He returned to the UK, working as an art and photography teacher while studying a Masters Degree in Fine Art at Middlesex University.
Photography was always a passion and mainly served to inform Michael’s painting. However, since developing a unique technique for creating abstracted photographs, he now only paints with his lens, though painting greatly influences and inspires his photography.
Michael now works as an artist, photographer (michaelleephotography.co.uk) and gallerist (hampsteadgarengallery.co.uk), and has exhibited widely across London, the UK and Europe. He is represented by galleries in the UK, Italy and the US.