Collection Title

19_Nalley, Michael_Portfolio

Author/Artist Name

michael nalleyFollow



Download Thumbnail Sheet (464 KB)

Download Nalley, Michael 1.jpg (75 KB)

Download Nalley, Michael 2.jpg (15 KB)

Download Nalley, Michael 3.jpg (70 KB)

Download Nalley, Michael 4.jpg (9 KB)

Download Nalley, Michael 5.jpg (67 KB)

Download Nalley, Michael 6.jpg (24 KB)

Download Nalley, Michael 7.jpg (23 KB)

Download Nalley, Michael 8.jpg (32 KB)

Download Nalley, Michael 9.jpg (75 KB)

Download Nalley, Michael 10.jpg (77 KB)

Download Nalley, Michael 11.jpg (46 KB)

Download Nalley, Michael 12.jpg (52 KB)

Download Nalley, Michael 13.jpg (65 KB)

Download Nalley, Michael 14.jpg (69 KB)

Download Nalley, Michael 15.jpg (3 KB)

Download Nalley, Michael 16.jpg (5 KB)

Download Nalley, Michael 17.jpg (4 KB)

Download Nalley, Michael 18.jpg (7 KB)

Download Nalley, Michael 19.jpg (9 KB)

Academic Level at Time of Creation


Date of Creation

Spring 3-10-2019

Artist Statement

Michael Nalley

Through thought we can explore the meanings in life and the My prints focus on the suffering and escapism through the absurd hero’s journey, taking the thoughts and feelings of existential introspection and giving it physical form though screen print. They focus on snapshots of a life lived without pre-derived meaning in search of purpose through a narrative set that paints a life of filled with opulence and escapism from a dark and uncaring world. I look at the flawed nature of faith and how one deals with a world once witnessed to the absurde, how we as humans escape those feelings, and the feelings of outsiderism and loneliness felt in such a world.

Formally, my pieces use a balancing act of bright and pastel colours in contrast with harsh and intense reds, browns, and blacks to push a scene from something grounded and real, into something more surreal and fantastic. I use appropriated images from Victorian etchings and Renaissance iconography intermingled with hand drawn imagery to show the journey of a man's life surrounded by reminders of his meaningless and insignificance in the nihilist’s reality. All the while, my absurde hero marches on filling his life with anything that can fill the void. I use the breakdown of religious imagery in direct contrast to the horrors of war or broken landscapes as the breakdown of faith and the derived meaning in life that accompanies it. I place such images in the background as a reminder of how such feelings, even when covered and subverted, are always in the back of the mind, always dragging at the soul with a reminder of one’s place in the eyes of an uncaring universe filled with pain and death under the guise of a moral cause.

I pull formal inspiration from artists like Matt Hopson-Walker, balancing heavy subject matter with bright and popping colours. Carrie Lingscheit has also influences my work formally with how she plays with heavily stylized and naturalized forms juxtaposed together. Conceptually my pieces pull mostly from philosophical literature in the form of writers like Albert Camus and Friedrich Nietzsche, as I explore the same vein of thought but instead use images rather than words to convey such introspection.

With a life without meaning, we are left to find and make such meaning ourselves. I use the arts to explore that existential journey and to give physical form to such introspective moments through a nihilistic lense. I use art to tell a story of another trying desperately to find purpose, all the while dealing with the anger that comes with the question of evil, the substances that give momentary reprieve from unending feelings of dread and loneliness, and an escape into the social world in hopes of drowning out the voice of pain through endless social contact.


Nicole Hand-bryant


A digital portpholo of my works as I have worked through the BFA program.

19_Nalley, Michael_Portfolio



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.