international painting annual 1 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Michael May
Dublin, Ohio

Columbus College of Art and Design

pages 110-111


In my recent paintings I have been depicting experiments developed by a fictional harmless lunatic.  The picture plane is split into segments, each showing a different stage in the experiment.  By moving from segment to segment the viewer is able to unpack the experiment piece by piece.

When embarking on this series, I created my character, who I named Samuel Hambone.  In order to learn how he thinks and functions I used the Enneagram Personality Test.  According to the Enneagram, he is a "Type 5," which means he has a great desire and capacity to assimilate information.  He prefers to spend time alone researching his interests and increasing his knowledge.  His basic need is to be capable and competent.  However, he also has developed schizoid personality disorder, which means he has a heightened sense of self worth and can't think clearly.  Thus he has created a small world for himself, in which he is a successful researcher solving many of the world's problems.  I am interested in the way in which my character's inherently good personality trait is negated by his mental illness.

Each painting depicts the process of one of his experiments.  They are developed based on idioms and common ideas like the idea that men don't know anything about women or that cameras capture people's spirits.  In Samuel's mind, he is curing the world by solving problems like these one at a time and imparting knowledge to those who will listen.  Unfortunately, he doesn't realize that each experiment is a failure and no one is listening.



born: 1980, Indianapolis, Indiana


Miami University, MFA, 2010
Ball State University, BFA, 2003

selected awards/honors

Graduate Achievement Award, Miami University, 2010

selected publications

Manifest Gallery. "International Drawing Annual 5." Fall 2010: Manifest Press
Christopher A. Yates.  "Connections on Surface Just Illusions." The Columbus Dispatch 15 June 2008: E6.

selected solo or two-person exhibits

Noble Intentions of a Misunderstood Man, Hiestand Galleries, Oxford, OH 2010
Trial and Failure: Irrational Still Lifes, Mt. Vernon Nazarene University, Mt. Vernon, OH, 2010
Oromatuas, Worthington Arts Council, Worthington, OH, 2009
Red Sky-Open Mouth, Ohio Art League Gallery, Columbus, OH, 2008

selected group shows

2010 Contemporary Realism Biennial, Ft. Wayne Museum of Art, Ft. Wayne, IN, 2010
Chelsea International Fine Art Competition, Agora Gallery, New York, NY, 2010
Mechanics of Imagination, Prescott College Art Gallery, Prescott, AZ, 2010
KY-7 2010 Biennial, Lexington Art League, Lexington, KY, 2010

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