New York artist Mike Cloud to make his Virginia debut

From April 28-July 7, ‘Figure Studies’ seeks to challenge assumptions at the Greater Reston Arts Center.

“Leibovitz Orange #24” by Mike Cloud // Courtesy of Greater Reston Arts Center

This will be the first time that Mike Cloud, the New York-based artist behind the Greater Reston Arts Center‘s 26-piece Figure Studies exhibit, will be presenting his work to the Metro-D.C. area.

“I’m not from Virginia,” Cloud, an assistant art professor at Brooklyn College, says. “I’ve lived in New York for 15 years and I was born in Chicago, and lived there for 20-so odd years, so I think I can anticipate the reaction in those places because I’m more familiar. But I do anticipate the reaction [in Virginia] being different.”

Figure Studies,  which runs April 28-July 7, addresses how viewers read symbols, shapes, faces and history via a series of collages inspired by the work of the famous American portraits photographer Annie Leibovitz.

“Body Builder Paper Quilt” by Mike Cloud // Courtesy of Greater Reston Arts Center

“It’s a show of my most recent paintings, which are mostly shape paintings and some form of quilts,” Cloud, who will speak at 4 p.m., an hour before the 5-7 p.m. opening reception on April 28, explains. “They’re large collages that are done in the form of quilts.”

Through Figure Studies, Cloud hopes viewers will begin to question their assumptions.

“I want there to be a powerful reaction to work that is primarily abstract … some of the emotional strength that’s possible in abstract painting,” Cloud concludes.

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