The Drawers - Michael Lane  Commentary written by Julie Oakes

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Michael Lane is understating individuality with Lilliputian depictions of his friends and acquaintances. He pays scant attention to the cut of their clothes or fitness of figures as he rips the fabric from which he forms his beings from his seemingly distracted, god-like position as creator. There is a throw-away aspect in the fabrication that is similar to a 'cast-off' line in a theatre production - a statement that is necessary to the unfolding of the drama but is treated as if it is of little importance so as not to draw focus away from a central theme. Michael Lane's figures are like the legends on a map that give an encapsulated version of the larger topography, a key to the chaotic jumble of possibilities. Nostalgically reminiscent of family photographs from the fifties, they break into a contemporary exposition with the style of dress replete with hipster fishnets, shades and army-fatigue beach-wear that draw the formerly innocuous characters into the twenty first century.

They make their tiny lives known; sparrows whose falls have been noted and commemorated. They become collectibles, small enough to carry away from a spacious gallery in a purse or pocket with a reclamation back to the land of the living, rescued from the sanctified hallowed halls of the realms of fine arts and adopted like a puppy from the SPCA. They have a tattered semblance to better days, a re-hashed attempt at the dignity of more aristocratic beginnings. They cry out like the little man who turned into a fly “Help me, pick me up, and take me with you!” They are as animated as the unanimated can be, transcending above the humble lot of ripped paper and paste to strut and gesticulate.

“Michael Lane's Friends” are able to be wooed away from their original maker and protector into the homes of strangers. Lane fashioned them to win hearts, hoping they would fly off the walls, light little birds that they are, into better homes to live in the company that they were destined for - to be placed cheek by jowl, in great art collections where they will hob-nob with their peers.

Copyright © 2006,  Headbones Gallery, The Drawers