Michael Reafsnyder is a not a foreign name in Chapman’s halls. He received his BA in studio art at Chapman University and later went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. His work has been appreciated in many regions, be it nationally here in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and New York, or internationally in Australia, Spain, and Singapore. Reafsnyder is also a recipient of the Chapman University Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award.
Reafsnyder’s work is commonly very abstract and features many colors. Art critic Christopher Knight of The Los Angeles Times has the perfect words to describe the unique sort of harmony that can be seen underneath the chaos of Reafsnyder’s abstraction:
“Drizzled, dribbled, smeared, scraped, scuffed and slippery swipes of bright, wet, acrylic color engulf the canvases like nontoxic spills. Inevitably, a small arc topped by a couple of little circles emerges somewhere in the boisterous field –Reafsnyder’s signature take on a smiley face, squeezed directly from the paint tube.”
– Christopher Knight, March 12, 2010
Indeed, Reafsnyder’s “signature take on a smiley face” can be seen in two of his pieces, Untitled (Mr. OOD) (pictured above) and Floating (pictured below), which are currently on display on the fourth floor of Beckman Hall. These paintings are gifts from the artist in tribute to his alma mater.
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