home ----- mission ------ members pages ------ join------ shop


Mike Geno - painter of meat.

I began painting meat in 2001.  Having previously explored various forms of objects and toy shapes that are designed to attract our interaction, like rubber duckies, I had a moment of clarity in my studio.  My epiphany was no doubt a result of hunger pains and a momentary case of low blood sugar.  I was on a grad school budget, after all.  I suddenly had the urge to paint a big juicy steak.  I wanted to create an image so vibrant, saturated and chunky that viewers would want to bite right into it.  I wanted to incite the same urges I had, not unlike my temptation to squeeze any rubber ducky that crosses my path.  

(porterhous & sirloin  each 12x12")
While in art college, I had worked in meat rooms of supermarkets, as an apprentice meat cutter, long enough to see the aesthetic values in a wide range of cuts of meat.  My role as an 'artist/meatcutter' allowed me to recognize the necessity for meat to be abstracted in order to be swallowed, therefore, it was natural for me to objectify meat and approach it with the same focus as my other still-life objects.   As I approached each cut of meat as iconic symbols of consumer product I focused on how enticing and sensuous raw meat can be.  

Having had the opportunity to elevate raw meat to the value of art (or is it the other way around?) and then often being able to eat my subject after each painting’s completion, the meat portrait series has been successful on many levels for me.  I found it most enjoyable to work with subject matter that attracts a diverse audience consisting of vegetarians and carnivores alike.
  (*click images to see larger)

More recently, I have focused on various food subjects and bacon began to stand out to me as something I could never tire of.   It lead towards a more abstract direction than I've ever previously explored in my studio.  I returned to using oil pastels and creating an ongoing series of bacon compositions.  After initially working small, I soon realized the need for a larger, more expressive scale  on 30x22" sheets of Stonehenge paper. 
 most recent drawings:

For more information about Mike Geno's art:
Eat Me Daily (interview)
Etsy (shop)