Michael Mapes Bio


Michael Mapes

1962: born in Fort Knox, KY
1984: BFA from the University of Illinois
1992: MFA from the University of Illinois

For most of his works, Mapes deconstructs the source image literally and figuratively and reconstructs the representation of an original painting as a collection of hundreds of individual parts. Beyond prints of the actual painting, Mapes incorporates factual and fictionalized content utilizing entomological and forensic approaches. This content includes genealogy info, costume jewelry, clothing fragments, fabric samples, dental X-rays, fingerprints, hair samples, paint samples, and additional photos of human subjects.

The incorporation of what Mapes terms as “biographical DNA” becomes a unique reinterpretation of the original painted subject. When examined individually, these parts inspire speculation. Collectively, they form a representation of the original painted subject.

  • Richland College, Decatur, IL 2008
  • FlexSpace, Urbana, IL 2008
  • Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL 2009
  • Schoolhouse Gallery, North Salem, NY 2013
  • "Anatomy of the Muse", Opera Gallery, Hong Kong 2015
  • "Dutch Glory", NL=US, Rotterdam 2015
  • "62 Collections", Krause Gallery, NYC 2017

  • Terrible Twos - Parlor Gallery, Asbury Park, NJ 2011
  • Outsiders & Objects - Parlor Gallery, Asbury Park, NJ 2011
  • We Find Our Way - Parlor Gallery, Asbury Park, NJ 2012
  • Victorious, Chelsea NYC 2013
  • KunstRAI, Amsterdam NL 2013
  • “Face to Face, Wall to Wall”, Yellowstone Art Museum,
    Billings, MT 2014
  • Ampelhaus, Berlin 2014
  • "Cut-Copy-Paste", Beers Contemporary, London 2014
  • "Revisiting the Golden Age", Pulchri Studio, The Hague NL 2014
  • "Art in Embassies", The Hague NL 2014 - 2017
  • "Realisme", Amsterdam NL 2015

  • New York Times, Sunday Magazine, 2015
  • Holland America Line, Koningsdam ship, 2016
  • Royal Caribbean, Harmony of the Seas ship, 2016

  • Illinois Wesleyan University 2009
  • SUNY New Paltz, visiting artist lecture series, 2016



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