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Michael Fitts (American, b.1961)
LOT ID: 75212
Operation, 2007

Oil, Archivally treated sheet metal
26 х 24 х 2 in. (66.04 x 60.96 x 5.08 cm.)
Signed, inscribed, titled and dated in ink on verso.
Lot description
"Operation" (2007) by American Contemporary artist Michael Fitts is one of the largest and most detailed works in the ongoing, and renowned series of photo-realist oil paintings on archivally treated, reclaimed sheet metal "canvas". There is an unexpectedness and delight in viewing this representation of the game "Operation" That was popular with nearly every child. Fitts paints the game here in a manner that is intentionally filled with nostalgia and Neo-Pop kitsch. He elevates the importance of this whimsical everyday object to the status of a revered icon, by painting the game-board in super-bright colors, placing it at the center of the canvas, and with a deep shadow, as if it hovers just above the surface of the metal. This new context makes the work into more than just a "pretty painting". The painting measures 26 x 24 x 2 inches unframed and is in excellent condition.

The thread that ties the works of Michael Fitts together are the selection of subjects that are nostalgic, ephemeral and of the most commonplace visuals of popular culture, with an emphasis on objects that are used once, then discarded and quickly forgotten. He paints paper coffee cups, balloons, shoes, snack foods, dress patterns and other objects of the American cultural experience.

Michael Fitts began painting on metal in 1992 after he graduated with a degree in painting from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, VA. He began looking for alternative surfaces to paint on, partly for the experimental aspect, but also because of the sheer variety of surface tones and textures. Of particular interest are pieces that have markings, distressed paint or dents and scratches that were produced long before the artist discovered the discarded metal. The work of Michael Fitts belongs to select prestigious private and corporate collections and has been exhibited in Art Fairs and Gallery exhibitions, world-wide. The artist presently lives and works in Virginia, US.

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Operation by Michael Fitts
  • Operation by Michael Fitts
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