Michelle Lawrence Schwartz
Michelle's work won't be new to you, if you've been around Austin long. She may be super low-key but you can best your ass that you've seen her work around town. Some of her work solely focuses on the natural world, combining the power and majesty of animals such as dinosaurs, rhinos, and deers with more delicate actors of the natural world, such as flowers. In that moment, you see these animals, not just as powerful predators, but delicate beauties that are in need of our admiration and protection. She further solidifies her tribute to nature by painting these portraits on reclaimed wooden canvas.
Her collages on the other hand, a medley of paint and magazine cut-outs, are where she gets me though. Michelle clearly thrives on the intersection of the earthly and the Americana, where some of her work seamlessly blends aspects of nature with the nostalgia for retro America. A while ago, for my birthday, I purchased her Eartha Kitt's montage, which pictured the diva herself in her signature pose, with crystals growing out of her body, as she lay sprawled (knowing her power) over tiger fur and rug. I just had to have it and now it sits proudly in my living room. For me, Michelle's collages show me what is possible and stretches the imagination so we can all experience the world in a brand new way.