Michael St. George is a fantasy realist painter whose interests and subject matter are as varied as the temperatures in March. Not only is he an accomplished master of acrylics, he is also a professional actor (AFTRA/SAG) on stage, in film and television. He majored in drama at Boston University's School of Fine Arts and studied under William Lacey, Elliot Norton, Thorton Wilder, Bill Gibson and Ted Kazanoff.

What is most striking about his work is the spiritual depth and honesty that he incorporates into his paintings. This quality is readily visible in the deeply introspective self-portrait Revelation (above) he painted in August 1980. This painting offers an interesting play on perspectives both literally and spiritually. In contrast, St. George composes another version of himself in The Lesson.  Although a far simpler portrayal, it is nevertheless a very dramatic performance.
St. George comments, "I was angry when I did this self-portrait from a mirror nailed to my bedroom door. The landlady's aggressive, feelingless daughter, out of a job, wanted to move back home, pay less rent, and shoehorn me into oblivion. I had been there two years and paid $450.00 a month for the basement apartment. One day, her mother, the landlady whom I thought was my friend, came to me suddenly. Scowling, she stood at the door and said these words, 'If you want to continue living here, you must pay me $1000 a month, plus all utilities. If you can't, or won't meet this, I'll give you a week to make other arrangements. Let me know, before 7 p.m. tonight, what your plans are.' So I did this portrait and moved."  

But while he can be fiercely honest about his feelings, he loves to play with icons and cultural metaphors. The meanings behind the monster painting The Stations (see detail) and the provocative The Three Graces are fairly obvious. For The Baker, St. George wrote this poem which can also be sung to the familiar nursery song:

Baker, Baker, grinning faker;
Make me high, make me happy;
Bake me a pretty dream;
For my new god of self-self-self esteem.
Maker-breaker, scoffing Baker;
Oh 'New Age' blindness, animal kindness;
Create an opinion-illusion for my new god;
Of raving, craving, enslaving, confusion.
Guiltless Baker, arrogant faker;
Bake me high, bake me guiltless;
Make me feel complete, the newest god;
Of self-self-self deceit.

To fully appreciate this body of work I invite you to take a look at the little virtual gallery I've put together for St. George. He's still waiting for the day that a real gallery will pick up his work and give him his due. Which I think isn't a long way off. Please note: I've tried to keep the GIFs as small as possible, but the page still might take a minute or so to load. Be patient and enjoy. Thanks to my friend and partner in many crimes, Peter Burke, for introducing me to St. George's paintings and for urging me to create this page. --rw

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