Art Projects

Just for the hell of it, but also so I could finally have some control over what I design, I started producing works of art that included sculpture, drawing, computer graphics, and photography.

I would love to have tried my hand at painting, but alas, the talent escapes me. I even went so far as to design a painting on the computer, then I had an artist reproduce it, but it just didn’t feel right.

Some of the work here was done for specific architectural of interior projects; work that I foisted onto my clients. Others were commissions, and some I just did for the love of it. You see, when one designs something, whether it’s a building or a chair, it’s taken away buy others to manifest, and needless to say, everyone else gets a say in how it looks. That’s not the case with producing a work of art. I and I alone am responsible for it, but that’s also a big responsibility. There's no one else to blame but yourself if you cock it up.

It has been suggested I exhibit this work, but I just don’t have the balls to do it, and besides, I’m a really bad looser. What if they don’t sell??

Again I’ve included some tear-sheets from magazines, because they say it better than I.

HEAD SHAVEN, DRESSED in T-shirt and jeans, Alexander Michael seems more focused on rolling impossibly slender cigarettes than promoting is artistry. It's clear Michael has impressed many clients with his inspired furniture design and ingenious use of limited space, as seen in the Finger Wharf apartments on page 90. But creating interiors inevitably involves compromise, and to ease the frustration of "the whole world trying to have a say in what you do," he began sculpting three years ago. It's the only thing that I'm confident is me and nothing else." Mounted on the wall of his Sydney studio in Rushcutters Bay are three long pieces he refuses to name. They have been likened to African shields, seed pods, deepwater sea creatures and spanners. They look natural but they're created from space-age materials _ fabric used to make bulletproof vest stretch over a steel skeleton, then coated in resin. One is finished with a fine claw of wild boar tusk, curved and sharp at the end. It represents the extreme but subtle twist Michael weaves through his work. "It always has a cutting sharpness - somewhere that you need to be slightly aware of," he says. This notion also resonates in his latest obsession, a decommissioned missile silo in upstate New York that he bought a few years ago. Get him talking about his plans for the silo - a creative space for artists or a dance club - and suddenly that cigarette's forgotten. .............................................. HEATHER WISEMAN
Alexander Michael, ABOVE, in his Sydney studio. RIGHT, TOP and CENTRE: Michael's unnamed sculptures, available at Sydney's Australian Galleries (see page 44) which he also designed. BOTTOM: coffee table by Michael in mirror-polished Brazilian mahogany. Alexander Michael and Associates, Rushcutters Bay, NSW, 9360 4512
Untitled trio. (Detail)
year: 2000
Materials: Steel, carbon fibre, fibreglass, resin, and boars tusk.
Collection of Alexander Michael
Title: Utility Room
year: 2004
Materials: Telstra Manhole covers, LED light sticks.
Private collection
Title: Utility Cover
year: 2005
Materials: Photograph
Private collection
Title: Utility 2. Year: 2005. Materials: Photograph. Private collection
Title: The USS Carl Vinson. Year: 2005. Materials: Photo montage model. Below are “take-a-peek” images of inside the titanium coffin.

I installed these giant balloons in the gardens of the Kangaroo House for its opening.
Unfortunately, the wind brushed them against the trees, so they didn’t last terribly long.

Unfazed by the bottle of helium and the bursting balloon episode in Kangaroo Valley, the balloons were an inspiration for this wedding design in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney.

This untitled work is a collaboration between Mirary Stanford and Alexander Michael.
Mirary however, deserves all the credit for the fabulous Zebras.
Two of the giant artworks for the Wagga Wagga HeliAir base. I thought the one on the left would make a great design for a neck-tie, but the client just laughed.
Murrumbidgee Deaming - The tittle of the massive artwork designed for Tubbo Station. Tubbo is one of the great and Historic Australian cattle and sheep stations located on the Murrumbidgee River in central NSW.
Below is a piece I’ve been working on for... countless years. The original is over 2 meters wide. If you click on certain zones, you can zoom in to get a closer look.