Just Missed the Past
Michel Delgado is a self-taught Senegalese artist now living in Key West. Delgado paints emotionally and expressively, conjuring other-worldly narratives of memory and spirituality. His direct vision reveals an understanding of the pain and solitude of immobility and silence, as well as joy, learning and love. Like other Outsider artists, Delgado’s approach can best be described as honest, refreshingly straightforward and visionary, ever powerful.
After leaving Dakar, Delgado spent time in Paris surrounded by the world's great art. Perhaps such a worldly artist cannot be called naive but, like many brut artists, Delgado seems influenced by everything and nothing equally. Depending on the observer's frame of reference, his paintings may conjure prescient references to a number of artists. A mash-up of Picasso + De Kooning. Or perhaps Pollack + Dubuffet. An earlier series found him wandering the streets of Key West photographing chewing gum stains on the sidewalk. He drew inspiration from the graphic gum shapes, silk-screened them onto water-color paper and inked one of a kind compositions, adding surrealism to the repertoire.
Michel Delgado’s paintings have received many honors and awards since he first began exhibiting professionally fifteen years ago. In 2004, the Artist’s work was featured in a museum exhibition at the Miami Art Museum curated by MAM Curator, Lori Mertes. Delgado was awarded the prestigious 2004 South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship for Visual and Media Artists, where he was selected from a field of more than 350 applicants by a national panel comprised of experts from American arts institutions from the Art Institute of Chicago, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Brooklyn Museum of Art New York City, Third World Newsreel New York City, and UCLA Hammer Museum Los Angeles.