Art / Michael Navarro

Michael Navarro is a painter living and working in Berlin, Germany. Having grown up on the outskirts of London practicing painting and filmmaking, Michael decided to study film at the Arts University Bournemouth. Focussing on film design as well as digital and analogue editing, he continued to paint as much as possible, enjoying the immediate act of painting in contrast to the long and often regimented process of filmmaking. 

In Berlin, where he now lives and works, he was introduced to an extremely tight-knit queer community, one which greatly influenced his work in painting. Queer identity and the intersection of queerness & technology – particularly social media & meme culture – predominantly inspire his work. One recurring motif has emerged in his paintings, of animal avatars. These often serve as a reflection of himself within these contexts, or as the ‘relatable’ figure within in a meme. Michael’s work is greatly inspired by his contemporaries, and attempts to reject the traditional elitism and inaccessibility of representational painting with humour and frankness.

His collage-like compositions of multiple images imposed on each other are a reaction to the collective consciousness of online community. Seemingly unrelated figures, animals and settings are forced together to emulate the absurdity of memes shared and repurposed into what could appear nonsensical, but have intense meaning to – somehow – many people.