+ Michael Lavorgna | Works

Memories (manufactured)

I was born on a steamer in international waters to Jesuit missionary parents on their way to Burma to save lives. Or, I was born in Totowa, NJ a painfully realistic 1960s suburban development where every home was the same, the only variation being orientation; carport left or right. We owned one horribly faded sickly pink Picasso reproduction that we got for free for opening a checking account, which hung on a too-big wall in our living room. I began drawing before I was born and only stopped when I thought I'd grown up. Mistake.

Artist's Statement
We see the world through senses honed by experience where the present is perpetually ambushed. Memory intrudes at times to the point of hallucination, fear distorts, desire distracts, and so on. Life mimics artifice.

None of this is news, and none of this is tragic. Perhaps more than any other figure, after declaring I wanted to be Jesus before I knew who Jesus was, I wanted to be Gumby-diving into any book of my choosing to swim around in a world that better suited my sense of reality than the one flashing before my eyes.

I work with old images taken from medical books, textbooks, mechanics and engineering guides, pop magazines, my childhood drawings, digital prints of found photos, adding paint, ink, pencil, wax, wiggle eyes, and more. With the Origines Mécaniques series, I cut my way through time to present pictures of the world I live in.

The mechanics and engineering guides are an integral aspect of the series. Since I was a child, I've been fascinated by machines, by their movement and mystery, but most of all because they are reproduced (and revered) with as much care and beauty as the human anatomy.

I see machines as a yearning to break away from flesh and blood and live outside time.

Bennington College, BA Fine Art 1985
School of Visual Arts, 1981-1982

Origines Mécaniques | Inner Magazine

"Michael Lavorgna’s images tell you more about your relationship to mechanics and technology than you actually knew."