From Olympic stages to presidential galas and Las Vegas events, Michael Israel is transforming the art world with his revolutionary combination of painting and performance. Indeed, how many artists can boast of having shared stages with such luminaries as The President, Jay Leno, Brooks & Dunn, Toby Keith, Garth Brooks and others?
Breaking the stereotype of the reclusive, hyper-sensitive artist, Israel allows audiences to witness the exhilaration of the creative process, in action. Wielding his paintbrushes like a modern-day swordsman, Israel moves in rhythm to music while splashing his canvasses with riotous bursts of color. The dynamic paintings that result from this chaos depict some of the world’s most beloved icons, including presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, Michael Jordan, Mohammed Ali, Frank Sinatra and Bono.
True to his Utopian vision, Israel’s most intense passion lies in painting unsung heroes and patriotic American images: New York firefighters hoisting Old Glory at Ground Zero, Special Olympians celebrating their victories, bald eagles soaring in the blue. Given the powerful nature of his subject matter, and the magnificence of his artistry, each of Israel’s paintings tell a passionate story. His performances regularly climax with standing ovations with fans rushing the stage for autographs, photos, or a souvenir paintbrush.
As his maverick painting approach attests, Michael Israel has liberated art from the motionless, stuffy confines of museums and galleries, and moved it into the lives of the people. Israel’s volcanic artistry is complemented by a tradition of giving back to charitable organizations. During his brief but spectacular career, he has given portions of his earnings to the Special Olympics, Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation, United Way, Regions Hospital and Burn Center, American Red Cross, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Shriners’ Crippled Children’s Hospital, Children’s Cancer Caring Center, St. Vincent Hospital and the Jackson Memorial Foundation.
Born in New York during the mayhem of the ‘60s, Israel moved to Miami, Florida as a child and lived aboard a houseboat with his mother. He spent his summers traveling America’s countryside with his father. At the age of eight, he began training in Karate eventually earning a Black Belt and was designated a Grand National Champion by the age of 17.
These combined experiences gave Israel an appreciation for nature, art and the singular beauty of the United States. Combining his love of painting, music and martial arts, Michael pioneered his own, unique style -- a performance/painting approach perhaps best described as “Art In Concert.”
Having inspired audiences nationwide with his mix of art, performance and charity, Israel has made good on his personal life philosophy. To wit: “When imagination exceeds reality, dreams are born."
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