By Nike Wind
There is a must-see exhibit Exploring Adam and Eve – Venice Paintings from 1990-2012 at The Rose Cafe now through March 3rd, posthumously exploring the work of Venice Artist, Michael Ayars.
I was more than lucky in that not only did I personally know Mike, but he was a true friend. I met him in 1980 at his Venice studio at a party with a capital P, where such phenomena occurred regularly and were considered meltdowns of creative critical mass. The circle of people I embraced there became my family of friends, and remain the lifeblood of Los Angeles’ artistic heart. Musicians, poets, actors, writers, painters, sculptors, and crafts people all came together to kick it and throw down with like minded people in real communion.
Mike was a certified genius. He refused membership in Mensa because he did not have an elitist bone in his body. He could speak with the authority of deep understanding on any subject, from history and politics to nature and sports.
This deep intelligence informed his work with stirring commentary from our times to ancient times. His work is iconic and the themes deal with the most pervasive aspects of human behavior using elementary symbols in the richest palette of color. It can be argued that Michael Ayars was an abstract expressionist but he would likely argue that himself. His form and style defy labeling. A master of color, his landscapes are nothing like you’ve ever seen before.
He supported his art by house painting. He was commissioned to paint trompe l’oiel wine cellars, rain forests, Moroccan oases, and so much more in the homes of wealthy patrons and friends. Michael also had a genius for living beings. He had a preternatural, almost mystical relationship with children and animals who received and returned the love he gave so freely.
Yes, Mike was one of the best friends I ever had. His manners were impeccable, concern for others genuine; he really knew how to love. He also really knew how to paint. His oeuvre is available to see on his website: www.michaelayars.com.
Give yourself the gift of seeing the work of Michael Ayars, a Venice treasure, up close and in person, while it is still available.