Michael Snodgrass

Michael Snodgrass
Acrylic on Panel


Michael Snodgrass is a Monterey based artist whose work is best described as Abstract Primitive with a nod to the neo-expressionists of the 1980’s New York. Snodgrass work is exhibited in numerous galleries and is included in the permanent collection of the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California, the collection of the Carmel Art Institute as well as many private and corporate collections throughout the US and Europe.

Snodgrass developed a deep appreciation of primitive and tribal art while living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, inspired by the purity, spontaneity, and simplicity of personal expression found in tribal and Mexican folk art. He started painting with his own primitive style, incorporating elements of abstract expressionism and art brut. His work is distinguished by the use of strong colors, thickly applied paint, and crudely rendered figures carved into layers of paint and wax. There is always a message included in his work; social or political commentary usually delivered with wry humor.


I took many years off from painting to do life. When I returned to painting, I was determined to do work that came out of my need for self-expression and not to imitate historical models. I began to unlearn what I had learned about painting and tried to paint as a child and a primitive. I found the passion and freedom I was so envious of by rendering my raw, crude figures, scratching them into heavily impastoed surfaces and using drips and splashes. I try to imbue each figure I paint with some characteristic or quality, which is recognizable and hopefully, will evoke an emotional response in the viewer.