Michael Koehler is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania artist with a background in graphic design and screen printing. He uses acrylic paint to construct a world of robotic and animalistic idols often inspired by ecology, technology, and humanity at large. Koehler’s artwork explores the curiosities and absurdities of our shared reality, the beauty and implicit danger of the wild unknown, and the connections we embrace and neglect. A common theme found in his work is the struggle, manipulation, and coexistence born between humans, nature, and technology. These concepts are illustrated through his portraits of surreal automatons, robotic yet edging slightly into the animalistic. The faces of these characters reveal a tethered collection of wires, urns, flames, and gemstones, each coalescing into and around the features of their mask-like expressions. Koehler’s vibrant color palette contrasted by deep black space only helps in giving his otherworldly idols a playful yet foreboding appearance.
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