“I want it to be like a moment in time,” says Mike Rogers about his approach to art.
His process begins with a laid-back photo shoot in his basement studio. Once he captures the perfect shot of his subjects—who are often friends or friends of friends—he translates that image to canvas over the next few months. The resulting oil paintings are vivid portraits of the alternative models he works with, many of whom are adorned with tattoos and piercings. “I think it’s interesting that they’ve turned themselves into works of art,” Rogers says.
The Adams City High School art teacher’s work (see examples above) is on display at Racine’s in Denver’s Speer neighborhood through July and August. The collection, which includes only female subjects, has been years in the making. Some date back to 2011, while others have recently been completed and never shown to the public.
Rogers continues to add to the assortment of works in his basement studio, and has different drawing stations and projects set up around the house to ensure that he is constantly inspired. He even swapped out his air conditioning unit on the back porch for an outdoor painting area. “I try not to be lazy,” he says. “I set up a drawing desk right in front of my TV so if I’m there, I’m drawing. Then I can binge watch Netflix and not feel bad about myself after.”
In addition to the exhibit at Racine’s, Rogers’ art can be viewed on First Fridays at the Denver Art Society Cooperative, various hair salons, and other venues along Santa Fe. “I like the idea of [displaying my work in] coffee shops and restaurants because I make my art for the general audience, not for other artists,” he says. “I want normal people to see my stuff.”
Visit: Mike Rogers’ paintings will be on display at Racine’s, 650 Sherman St., through August. The artist will also be raffling off canvas prints. Visit Racine’s, take a photo with one of the pieces, and send it to him via Facebook and Instagram @mikerogersart. For more information visit lifeofmike.com.