Michael Provenza has a totally original perception of nature and landscape. Provenza’s oil paintings reveal a successful blend of the old with the new – merging a realistic and remarkable dimensional quality with a surreal and magical environment – in a truly distinctive style characterized as Surrealist Pointillism.
“Viewers of my work say they feel as if they can walk right into my paintings – they want to be there.”
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area, Provenza has lived, worked, studied, taught, and painted for more than 30 years. Inspired by his artist grandfather, Provenza began painting at age nine, pursued art academically holding a Fine Art college degree and continues to professionally create oil paintings as his life-long passion. Provenza has become a highly recognized and collectible artist both nationally and internationally.
“My paintings are an exploration or journey that I’d like to take in a world that comes from my imagination with pieces of reality sprinkled in.” All of Provenza’s work invites you in to experience Life’s Journey – with a twist.
Michael Provenza is a world-renowned artist who has developed a distinctive pointillistic style and blending technique in his oil paintings that exudes a realistic and dimensional quality, yet is surreal and magical. His style is being characterized as Surrealist Pointillism.
Provenza has a totally original perception of landscape. He captures the brilliance of simplicity of the countryside. His scenery is remarkable for its suggestion of distances and aliveness. “My passion has always been to paint scenery that will bring viewers into my paintings and become engaged with the diverse qualities of nature – with a twist,” said Provenza. “I like to call this body of work Life’s Journey.”
Provenza’s personal journey as an artist began in his childhood, inspired by his grandfather. Born in 1964 in Los Gatos, California. “I’ve always had a strong imagination as a kid and I loved to depict my ideas on paper by copying my favorite cartoons and environments (free-hand) when I was in elementary school,” Provenza recalls.
Through the late 1980’s and early 1990’s Provenza focused on his painting technique using oils. He was also passionate about developing a unique style different from any other artist. “It’s important to me to have my own style so I first began to develop it through relentless practice and study of traditional styles, mainly influenced by the old masters, as a foundation,” Provenza explains. “I studied Seraut for his pointillistic approach and Michelangelo for his use of color, light and depth.” During this period, Provenza produced several traditional oil paintings which exhibited in art galleries and shows around the country. “I was accepted into The Art Show Gallery in Carmel, California by loading paintings into my car and going door-to-door to as many galleries as possible in one day.” Provenza recalls.
Provenza’s career has encompassed many different fields in the art industry. In addition to oil painting, the artist has also created a number of 3D environments for video games, illustrated book covers and greeting cards, painted sculptures for museums, and painted residential and commercial murals.
Provenza worked directly with Disney and Sony, as well as actors such as Kirk Cameron, to create art for Xbox and PlayStation video games including Dungeons & Dragons, Buck Rogers, Jurassic Park, The Horde, Walt Disney World Magical Racing Tour, Mad Dash Racing, just to name a few. The process required pixel painting, hand-illustration and sketching for backgrounds which were scanned in order to produce 2D/3D environments and animations. “The animated and 3D experience combined with my traditional oil painting foundation, was a tremendous jumping off point in further developing ‘my style’ that I’m passionate about because it flowed naturally in sequence with my imagination to create,” explains Provenza. “I could not wait to start painting full-time with my new vision for oil paintings.”
In 2000, Provenza began to integrate his concepts from the virtual worlds he personally created for video games into his oil paintings which was the beginning of Life’s Journey. The new body of work is a blend of Provenza’s new vision and distinct style with his original subject matter [nature] creating these surreal environments combined with realistic and traditional painting techniques, ultimately bringing his work to life. Even though Provenza discovered his unique style later in his fine arts career, the subject of the artist’s work has not changed, which continues to be his constant source of inspiration.
In 2004, Provenza also adapted his landscapes to large scale murals for a special project at King’s City theme park in Eilat, Israel near the Red Sea where he traveled to paint the 150 feet x 20 feet murals. “The size, scope and depth of composition in the murals made me feel as if I could walk right into the scenery, which further developed my dimensional painting abilities,” the artist says.
Provenza’s work was also seen on television. He was honored to participate in painting a mural for the 2009 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in Toledo, Ohio in the little boy’s train room. “It was great to be able to help people in need, especially in my local community where I currently live,” explains Provenza.
In 2013, Provenza’s art was chosen for one of the Hawaii 5-0 set designs. And his art was showcased in American Art Collector Magazine, September.
In 2016, Provenza officially became licensed to create Disney characters in his paintings at the Acme Gallery at Disney Town Shanghai. Michael is a celebrated international artist known for his unique style of interpreting licensed characters.
Today, Michael Provenza is a highly collectible artist, both nationally and internationally.
Like Norman Rockwell, Seuss personally created every rough sketch, preliminary drawing, final line drawing and finished work for each page of every project he illustrated. Despite the technical and budgetary limitations of color printing during the early and mid-twentieth century, Dr. Seuss the artist was meticulous about color selection. He created specially numbered color charts and elaborate color call-outs to precisely accomplish his vision for each book. Saturated reds and blues, for example, were carefully chosen for The Cat in the Hat to attract and maintain the visual attention of a six-year-old audience. By the time Seuss’s book career took off, sharp draftsman skills were evident in drawings. His ability to move a storyline ahead via illustrations filled with tension, movement and color became a hallmark component of his work, and the surreal images that unfolded over six decades became the catalyst for a humorous and inspired learning experience.
Artist Leo Rijn, the inaugural sculptor for the Dr. Seuss Tribute Collection I, was selected to launch this project due to his prized work with some of today’s top talent in the world of film, entertainment and the visual arts (including Tim Burton, Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg). Rijn has been identified as one of today’s brightest sculpting talents because of his ability to breathe life into the written word and successfully transform two-dimensional ideas into three-dimensional works of art. Universal Studios commissioned Leo to develop and oversee the creation of numerous maquette scale models for the Monumental Dr. Seuss Sculptures at Seuss Landing in Orlando, Florida. Leo was instrumental in the art direction for many of the sculpted characters and buildings now on display at this permanent Seuss attraction. His strikingly accurate Seuss works embody a masterful and intuitive Seussian sensibility, establishing him as a leading talent in interpretive sculpting.
Seuss embarked on an ingenious project in the early 1930s as he evolved from two-dimensional artworks to three-dimensional sculptures. What was most unusual for these mixed-media sculptures was the use of real animal parts including beaks, antlers and horns from deceased Forest Park Zoo animals where Seuss’s father was superintendent. Unorthodox Collection of Taxidermy was born in a cramped New York apartment and included a menagerie of inventive creatures with names like the “Two Horned Drouberhannis,” “Andulovian Grackler,” and “Semi-Normal Green-Lidded Fawn.” Shortly after Seuss created this unique collection of artworks, Look Magazine dubbed Seuss “The World’s Most Eminent Authority on Unheard-Of Animals.” To this day, Seuss’s Unorthodox Collection of Taxidermy remains as some of the finest examples of his inventive and multi-dimensional creativity.
Illustrator by day, surrealist by night, Seuss created a body of irrepressible work that redefines this American icon as an iconographic American artist. Yet, the Secret Art often shows a side of the artist that most readers, familiar with him through his classic children’s books, have never seen. This collection, created over a period of more than 60 years, encompasses the entirety of Seuss’s multi-dimensional talent. The artistic golden thread highlighted throughout this collection is apparent in each wildly imaginative and surreal Secret Art image. The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss is an inimitable collection of artworks created at night for his own personal enjoyment. These works were rarely, if ever, exhibited during his lifetime and provide a deeper glimpse into the art and life of this celebrated American Icon.