Michael Godard Interview and Appearance
Much like LeRoy Neiman, Michael Godard is a critically-maligned, commercially successful painter with a penchant for the bright and bold. He knew he wanted to be a painter and nothing was going to discourage him. He attended the University of Nevada in Las Vegas and the Art Center College of Design in Pasedena and held a wide variety of jobs before he moved into fine art as a career.
Michael Godard will be making two appearances here in the South Floroida area beginning this Friday night at the Wentworth Gallery on las Olas Blvd. Fort lsuderdale, and on Saturday at the Wentworth Gallery in Boca Raton.
You will also be delighted to know that we will be speaking with Godard tomorrow afternoon before his Gallery appearance. You will be able to find it here on Rockbandreviews.com.
GODARD: PERSONAL HISTORY
Michael Godard discovered his talent for art at an early age. The young artist used his drawing skills as a way to make new friends. Godard spent most of his high school and college years living in Las Vegas. After attending college in Las Vegas, Godard worked as a mechanical engineer for 12 years before diving into his art career.
In 2006, Godard lost his 16-year-old daughter to brain cancer. The artist now dedicates his life’s work to helping families fighting cancer by working closely with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“They were also very instrumental in my own daughter’s battle with brain cancer, so they have a very special place in my heart,” Godard says. “All the money in the world cannot bring her back, but the funds I help raise for a cure will help save another child.”
Godard works closely with The Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Nevada Cancer Institute. The artist also supports military organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project and Fallen Heroes Project.
“My life really isn’t about my art at all,” Godard says. “My art is a vehicle to do something in the world that will make a difference.”
GODARD: STYLE AND INFLUENCES
Michael Godard’s spectrum of artwork ranges from highly-detailed paintings to loose, colorful Pop Art. His playful subjects are often portrayed dancing around a cocktail or glass of wine, falling in love, and getting into trouble. Godard acknowledges his brand might not appeal to everyone, but believes humor is a universal language.
“Every painting might not be for every person, but everyone, I think, loves to have a laugh,” Godard says.
Godard invented his signature olive character after a friend requested a painting of a dirty martini for his birthday. Godard painted his friend’s request with a twist and brought a pair of olives to life. While his characters are unconventional, Godard embraces the challenge of giving personalities to inanimate objects.
Although Godard’s whimsical paintings are far removed from reality, the artist hides secret ties to the real world within his art. Godard says he’s modeled his silly characters after friends or people he’s met at art auctions. If the viewer looks closely, they’ll also find hidden details like names, dates, or initials scattered throughout Godard’s artwork.
“The paintings are like a humorous, emotional bath,” he says.
Godard’s artwork centers around several themes all pointing back to the artist’s Vegas roots. Many of Godard’s characters are seen playing a round of golf, a nod to Godard’s years of living on Las Vegas golf courses. Godard’s olives are also portrayed gambling—a signature Vegas pastime as well as a tribute to Godard’s love of math.
“I’m fascinated by the statistics and the math behind gambling,” Godard says. “I’m a math geek.”
Alcohol is also a common theme throughout Godard’s work. Although the artist says he is not a heavy drinker, he embraces the social side of alcohol to bring people together.
“I look at alcohol as a very social thing,” Godard says. “I think people can relate to the alcohol part of it because it’s sort of like celebrating life.”
MICHAEL GODARD: ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Godard appeared on A&E’s “Criss Angel’s Mindfreak” and during the Biography Channel’s Criss Angel segment.
A documentary on Michael Godard’s life won several awards and was aired at multiple independent film festivals.
In March of 2011, a slot game called “Godard’s Rockin’ Olives™ Video Slot” by Aristocrat Technologies made its debut at the San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino on March 22, 2011. Each frame and image in the Rockin’ Olives machine was hand-painted by Godard.
In 2013, Godard created his own brands of gin and vodka with his artwork adorning the bottles.
Jude Children’s Research Hospital honored Godard for his dedication to fighting childhood cancer at the 7th Annual St. Jude: Affair of the Art Gala on May 6, 2017, in Las Vegas.
Visit Michael Godard's website at www.michaelgodard.com