In “Inland Mountain Journey,” Michael Roque Collins’ new show at LewAllen Galleries, Collins showcases recent oils and watercolors on linen and mixed media paintings on black and white photos.
These works, Collins says, are the culmination of feelings he has about landscape as sacred, reveal the Gulf Coast world in which he lives (Houston, Texas) and contain internal and external imagery that’s inspired by various psychological states. Colors in the new work, Collins says, are richer than ever before and amplify the psychological state.
“Most fundamentally, my painting relates to the tenants of Post Symbolism, where each painting is an ethereal membrane suggesting the poetic as experienced through dreams, memory, mystery and morphic resonance,” he explains.
The works in the show are based on a series of drawings that Collins made in 2015. Instead of using his usual tools, such as palette knives, that help him build a certain kind of thick surface texture, Collins decided to harken back to his painting process from the early 2000s by relying only on paint brushes and working one stroke at a time.
“I investigate lush surfaces, which combine multiple symbolic elements through which I investigate themes such as the symbiotic, romantic relationship of darkness and light, the cyclical nature of life and death, the complexities of inner psychological life and the mysteries and vital importance of individual spirituality,” he says.
Born in Texas in 1955, Collins earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Houston and his Masters of Fine Art in painting from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. His award-winning work can be found in many public collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the San Antonio Museum of Art, the El Paso Museum of Art and the Art Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi.
Collins is currently an artist-in-residence and professor of art at Houston Baptist University.