Mike Levin was born in Boston; his family immigrated to Canada when he was three. He grew up in Calgary and attended the University of Calgary fine arts at the age of 19. At that time he fell in love with sculpture and fiercely pursued several sculptural projects. Since then he has trained as a draftsman and worked in engineering firms, dabbling in art from time to time.. In 2006 he once more began to pursue art in a major way, starting with landscapes and portraits of friends' and family's pets. Mike has now returned to Emily Carr University to finish his undergraduate degree in painting.
Mike aims at a sense of communion with nature in a magic realism that joins his internal vision with photographs he takes of his subjects. " My paintings reflect, not ordinary reality, but rather a dense reality with a play on infinite detail. They are manifestations of the mind where reality is a string of joined verses in which everything is interconnected. I try to evoke the magic of the complex reality that surrounds us every day."
Fellow Canadian artist Gus Faux writes of Mike's work:
I've now been privileged to view computerized images of watercolour paintings by the exciting young Canadian artist Michael Levin.
You will be gratified by the lean, clear and confident brushwork, using tempered but confident colours. It conveys an unusually calm and clear vision- by an artist who has surmounted personal obstacles to emerge with a style of solidity and lightness that lifts very usual subjects of art into a rarely satisfying experience both visual and mental.
Take the surprisingly riveting head and body of a fish, the spring salmon, its glazed eyes somehow- what skill was involved! - as if regardant, with its own life. Or the head of a horse, done with the same certainty,with an attentive hint of animal wisdom; Then, a landscape of dun sand, dark woods, undemanding light= blue sky, all with the same lean clarity of observation that unfailingly marks a very personal style. That same calm confidence imbues a modest-sized scene that contains only snow and partly cleared railroad tracks; you will find your eyes fix on it, expecting something intangible, important. And in a modest-sized watercolour, a rooster- alone on his perch, small size, speckled black and white body- is somehow in his own way monumental.
Art lovers and connoisseurs in the Vancouver area have realized that an artist of most unusual and individual quality has appeared. His next, and up to now his most important showing, will be the Vancouver Eastside Cultural Crawl for the sixth year, and many look forward also to an exhibit by him in the States.