Michael Staniak

Australian Artist Michael Staniak Tops Phillips' Paddles ON! Auction

Nicholas Forrest, BLOUIN ARTINFO, July 7, 2014


Melbourne-based artist Michael Staniak, who is one of the rapidly rising stars of the Australian art scene, has topped London-based auction house Phillips’ July 3 Paddles ON! sale with his work “IMG_885 (holographic),” 2014 which sold for an amazing £25,000 against an estimate of just £3,500 – 4,750.

Paddles ON! is an auction and exhibition celebrating digital art presented in partnership with the microblogging platform and social networking website Tublr. The July 3 sale was curated by Lindsay Howard and is the second auction dedicated solely to digital art at Phillips.

Staniak has developed a reputation for his experimental, digital media-inspired paintings. His recent exhibition at Sydney’s Artereal Gallery was a massive success and the March-April exhibition of his work entitled “Image DNA” at Steve Turner Contemporary in Los Angeles is evidence of his growing international profile.

Commenting on the sale, Staniak said: “As last year’s first Paddles On! in New York exposed, there is a solid interest in work that is informed by or made with the use of digital media. This year’s Paddles On! in London proves that the interest is increasing, with an overall auction result that was well above expectation.

“I was very happy to be curated into this exhibition/auction by Lindsay Howard. She has done so much to propagate this interest in digital media in the international art market. My concepts are firmly built around digital media and its effects on painting, and image making in general, so being selected for this experience was an honour.”

Staniak’s “IMG_885 (holographic),” 2014 is from a series of works that explores the flatting aspect of digital media on our viewing experience. According to the artist, when the work is viewed in person it engages with a sense of digitally printed flatness even though it possesses a relief-like form.

When the work is viewed on a screen, however, that form becomes more apparent because of the inability to move around the work and navigate it up close. “Thus it amplifies a dual reality, much like the duality that any physical work encounters when uploaded to a screen based device,” says Staniak.

Staniak describes himself as a “post-Internet artist, someone whose work is informed by my act of surfing the web and engaging in its aesthetics.” He is the founder and Director of Paradise Hills Gallery, an artist run initiative in Melbourne Victoria

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