MICHAEL R. ARNOLD, AIA
"My art is an expression of my spirit as well as the energy I see in other people, animals or buildings. I have always been intrigued by eyes and I see their ability to capture light as something that I also aspire to with my work. I choose to paint animals because I am very interested in form, anatomy and muscular structure and there is something truly majestic about horses; so full of power and energy.
My other subjects are based on exploring my surroundings and expressing them through colour and form, I am interested in motion and energy and capturing the moment. I don't want to be too didactic with my art, I hope that my viewers can have their own conversation with my pieces, be drawn in and experience something intriguing whilst looking at it."
The first 40 years of Mike Arnold's career were spent as a professional and diligent architect. Thanks to what now seems like serendipitous timing, Arnold progressed through a successful career without ever having to become architecturally computer literate and rely on programmes to create building sketches and renderings. As such, his drawing skills were fine-tuned throughout his life, preparing him for his second career as a full-time artist - something he feels he began as a child, when he would spend every weekend studying art at The Philadelphia Museum of Art, in the city where he was born and raised.
Now, Arnold fuses his knowledge of built structures and his ability to almost see through the exterior to the inner forms with the artistic perspective he was born with. He enjoys exploring with different materials and his practice now extends across oil-on-canvas, oil-on-glass, mono prints, oil sticks and oil-on-paper. He also tries to push his boundaries by moving away from precise renditions of subjects, to embracing a looser form that allows for creativity to flourish.
There is no overriding theme to his work other than a life-long passion dedicated to light. His attempt to chase and capture light is what marries all his work and within that search, Arnold attempts to convey emotion to his viewers.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, Arnold began his architectural career in a small firm in Philadelphia. He began in his teens as an office boy and moved up through the ranks to senior executive level. He worked on key projects in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, California and Florida. Internationally, Arnold completed major projects in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The last 10 years of his career were in the Middle East (Dubai and Doha), where his work focused mostly on healthcare projects.
He has enjoyed a successful career as a full-time artist since 2013. He works from a studio in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood where he also teaches art at Mawaheb from Beautiful People. His artworks have been bought by the Middle East region's leading art collectors, they also hang in royal palaces, governmental and corporate headquarters and in the Four Seasons Hotels.