Michael Kuch portrays a world both fantastic and familiar. Whimsical juxtapositions of human figure and natural form fuse into personal metaphor. A head sprouts flowers, evocative of inner growth; another face hides under a sea shell hat, seeking protection. A distinctive, patient tenderness suffuses his imagery. Anthropomorphic frogs, wearing no more than frowns, satire our naked, vulnerable condition. Unceremonious portraits of biblical and mythological characters comment gently on iconoclastic times. A Sisyphus, toiling behind a giant snail, does not strain his muscles; his sad, soft posture conveys a mental rather than physical burden.
Kuch’s art does not focus on verisimilitude, nor does it dwell in aesthetic interpretation; rather these qualities attend human experience as revealed from the inside: a world of psychological reflection. Complete collections of Michael Kuch’s Double Elephant Press are housed in the rare-book libraries of many notable institutions, including the Library of Congress, Yale University, The University of Delaware, and Smith College. Kuch studied with Leonard Baskin at Hampshire College and printed etchings for Baskin’s Gehenna Press for over ten years. Working in a variety of media, including painting and sculpture, Michael divides his time between Northampton and New York City.