June 20 2012 01:51 PM

He conquered his art and fears in Alexander Salazar's residency program

Carini
Michael Carini

When former CityBeat arts editor Kinsee Morlan first reported on Michael Carini's paintings in January 2011, she revealed the artist's mental-health struggles that forced him into seclusion and controlled the way he painted. Carini created technical works of art as if he was insecure about his natural abilities—the opposite of where he's at now.

Carini is still a slave to his own drive, and his April-and-May residency at Alexander Salazar Fine Art proves it; during the course of 50 days and 500 hours, he produced more than 30 paintings for his show Boy in the Box, opening from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, June 21, at White Box Contemporary (1040 Seventh Ave., Downtown).

Carini is not, however, a slave to his mind anymore, and he thanks Salazar's program for it. After losing his job, he was on the verge of homelessness this past spring, with no money and no studio.

His last hope was a residency with Salazar, where he'd be forced to work not only in public, but openly, in the tight studio space (aka the "box") a couple doors down from Salazar's main gallery.

Amid all the people and bustle, and without privacy, Carini triumphed. He quickly found inspiration in his surroundings, choosing to paint well into Friday and Saturday nights when Downtown is slammed. His door was always open, and people were always walking in. "I was there to spark interest, and my responsibility was to make people feel welcome, and that art is approachable," says Carini, who often gave away pieces of his work to the homeless.

Carini hopes to sell enough art at his show to get a studio in San Diego. The work in the exhibition—exploding with color and his newly found free brush strokes—represents the relationships he forged Downtown.


Amy blogs at saysgranite.com and you can follow her on Twitter @saysgranite.

Calendar

  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28