curator of Louvre expat exhibit 2007
Fusion of colors and cultures
Hot lava pours into the sea, volcanic glass fragments mix with black sand beaches - as a young child Michelle Bird stood at the edge of strong cultural tides, inheriting her Chinese artist father's classical eye and her Western mother's courage with bold architectural form. Described as "tactile and erotic," abstract expressionist Bird's paintings radiate the fusion of cultures and colors.
Michelle Bird came early to her love of color as she leaned barefoot into the ocean wind hunting for the last subtle green flash in her Hawaiian sunset. When her family moved to California she added the texture of old growth Redwood forests, San Francisco fogs, plump grape vines and desert silt. Her paintings reflect a wide palette of almost Baroque colors. "I paint fervently for long intervals," says the artist, "as if I were walking blindfolded through nature, feeling the color with my skin."
Educated in California and the Netherlands, she studied with Dutch poet and painter Anton Martineau and at the Rietveld Art Academy. Recognized in Europe and California, she has lectured at 'San Francisco's Academy of Art College' on drawing techniques. Her work has been shown at Gallery Retort in Amsterdam, Gallery Walls in Amsterdam, Castle Maurick in Vught, The Netherlands, and The Depot Art Gallery in California. In 2003, she received an award from the Californian ‘Center for Contemporary Arts’ in Sacramento. As an illustrator, she has been published by the Dutch & Belgium publications 'Joie de Vivre' and 'Spuit 11.' She gained international attention for her drawings in the book 'Closed Curtains -- Lives of de Wallen'.
Bird's work is represented in private and corporate collections in the United States, Switzerland and The Netherlands, including those of AXA Insurance, Der Landbote and SEC. Her studio in Switzerland is on the outskirts of Zurich adjacent to a forested hill, where she has lived with her husband since 2004. Her daughter studies art at Berkeley. Michelle Bird speaks English, Dutch, and German; and holds a San Francisco Bay Skippers rating.