Mike Shine

by Sunday, April 27, 2014


Blending influences of lost carnivals, Nordic mythology and hazy nostalgia, Mike Shine’s eerie yet often light-hearted art has been included in exhibitions with SFMOMALaguna Art Museum and The Museum of Craft and Folk Art. His mixed media pieces are typically composed of house paint on found objects like driftwood, buoys, carnival bottles and ephemera.



The artist’s sinister characters are made ironically inviting to the viewer with mechanized interactive components that recall classic carnival attractions. The art “opera” is based on the carnival ringleader, Flotsam, who Shine considers to be his personal version of Mephistopheles.



The artist cites dark, enigmatic figures such as Stanley Kubrick, Friedrich Nietzsche and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe as his inspiration. The artist’s work has been featured in Juxtapoz Magazine, Hi-Fructose Magazine, SF Chronicle, Readymade, ArtLtd. and Spread Art/Culture Magazine.


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Mike Shine

by Saturday, August 6, 2011

Mike Shine is an artist who lives and paints in Bolinas, California. With no formal art school training, his background instead includes fine woodworking, furniture and cabinet making: skills that often appear in his artwork. He typically creates using driftwood and found objects, and many of his works invite (and even require) the observer to handle and operate them, something he considers contrary to the sterile “please don’t touch” world of museums and galleries.

For the last few years Mike has used painting to explore the metaphor of a childhood deal with the devil, recalled only through driftwood artifacts that he collects on the beach. In between surf sessions, Mike gathers this driftwood and slowly pieces together a dark memory. As a successful artist and family man, Mike suspects that the clown-devil of his childhood might be waiting to collect on an ancient pact. Drawing from mythological characters, nautical themes, and unconventional portraiture, Mike unfolds the memory of an event that may have foretold his adult life.

Shine has been featured in The Museum of Craft and Folk Art’s Indoor/Outdoor exhibit and SFMOMA‘s temporary outdoor installation, The Mike Shine Show.

Mike Shine website