Michelle Kondos


“The American West – what is it and why has it so defined our collective imagination? An ideal? A shared dream of freedom, space, and of infinite possibility? But the West is also smack-your-senses real – as real as the sight of a pronghorn disappearing into the haze of a perfect sunset, as real as the unexpected rattle of a startled diamondback three feet off the trail on which I am walking.

“In my work, I try to capture the ineffable magic of the place, while still honoring its ‘can’t-take-your-eyes-off-it’ reality. The process captures my attention just as surely as that rattlesnake does.

“I paint realistically in an age of much abstraction. There is room for us all – but to me just trying to unravel what lies before my eyes out here in this sacred landscape is discipline enough. I’ve been staring at it all, as perhaps only an artist can, for a very long time, and I still always feel that the West is trying to tell me something, something I can’t quite grasp – but maybe, just maybe, I can get it onto a canvas.”