Born and raised in Glenside, PA Walsh originally attended the Maryland Institute College of Art then transferred and received his BFA in Painting from the Tyler School of Art (Temple University) in 1999. He is thirty-seven years old and lives and works in this studio apartment in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia. Walsh has had various shows and exhibits including solo shows at the Knapp Gallery. Mike has completed several commissions and his paintings have been displayed in galleries, museums, and restaurants.
To best describe Mike's work, read the review written by Karl Slocum (Artistic Director at the Knapp Gallery) in September of 2010:
Solid and definable work best describes a low key cat that can paint his ass off. With astonishing pointedness, Michael guides viewers through his mythical and labyrinth-ical world. Recent Works 2010, including a few self-portrait-esque images, Michael takes of the kid gloves and brandishes the bare knuckles of a youthful pugilist. At fighting weight Walsh is razor sharp. Recent Works 2010 is near intimidating, challenging us with combating elements - the creature and the creation. Balance and harmony counter a demanding imbalance. Causality is brilliance.
An author through imagery, Walsh weaves tales of forbidden ecstasies, wrestling with issues of morality and or immorality, adolescent naiveté, decay. Of all my painters, Walsh paints with the hardest edge. Contemplative by nature, Walsh investigates below the surface - questioning the root cause of our yearnings. Classical tone and composition, solids and stripes, Walsh’s pale and matte palette enhances his quietly dark dramas; absolutely dark in their absolutism. With no middle ground, Walsh’s paintings are about life and death; albeit served with a side of satire.
No bones about it, Michael’s work is a heady psychedelic representation of an archeologist’s dream while on acid. An in depth study in the “still life”, Walsh will tell you that a bone is as still as it gets. Skeletons and skulls, beyond human infrastructure are things of beauty; their core value outweighing their inherent morbidity.
The following was also written about Mike's work in September of 2009:
Walsh is a heady cat when you get him to talk. He's evasive, especially with phone calls. Get him alone though and he'll "get with" you about what he does. Mike's got definite ideas about what he's doing and where he's going. Employing the 90-10 rule, studying the painting 90 percent of the time and actually working on the painting only 10 percent of the time, Walsh believes contemplation is paramount to getting the job done. He has a remarkable skill for getting an idea out onto the canvas strongly and holding onto it deep into the painting. Visually, he'll give you a hard line and edge, while simultaneously offering organics and life of a creature.
Exacting a keen awareness, creating dimension through underlayment, R. Michael Walsh builds layer upon layer. Add a final layer of stained glass vignettes and presto! Perfection! Despite the intricate and defined nature of Mike's stained glass webbing, he evidences tons of freedom through his imagery. Michael wants you to work a bit and spend time in discovery. Weaving fabric-like tapestries, he has remarkable control throughout the multiple layer s of his paintings. Communicating on so many levels asserts his competency as a journeyman. Mike's imagery comes straight at you with relentless persistence. He's a painter. He paints. From an investment perspective, the buying end, I want to know there are more paintings coming, that he's committed to his craft; that painting is the priority. In that I have confidence. Beyond that, he is quite aware of what he is doing