Fair Oaks Farms® first hotel, Fairfield by Marriott®, will boast 99 rooms and suites. Fairfield by Marriott Fair Oaks Farms is unique in its contemporary barn exterior, layout, and custom interior design. Furthermore, the hotel’s public spaces and guest bedrooms will feature original artwork created by three renowned artists. This week’s featured artist is Michael Kessler.
About the Artist
Michael Kessler was born in Hanover, Pennsylvania. In 1978, he graduated from Kutztown University (Kutztown, PA) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Most notably, he won the Rome Prize for Painting, American Academy in Rome (1990), and a Pollock/Krasner Award in Painting (1992). Also, Kessler’s artwork has been widely exhibited in the U.S. and abroad, with over 70 solo exhibitions. Nowadays, Kessler resides and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Creative Inspiration & Process
First, it is important to note that Michael Kessler’s artwork is a nature-based abstraction. Having grown up on a farm, he began painting landscapes. “Through prolonged and careful observation, it was the inner dynamics of the natural world that grasped my attention…Gradually, my painting process took on the characteristics of these natural processes,” said Kessler. Given his background, it only made sense that Mr. Kessler create three paintings for the Fairfield by Marriott Fair Oaks Farms.
Driven by the inner-workings of the natural world, Kessler’s work is organic and geometric. He describes his process as “very elaborate,” involving “the application of many layers and skins.” Each piece consists of as many as 50 micro-thin lays of translucent and transparent acrylic. Throughout the years, the artist has developed his own set of painting tools, including skimmers and trowels. Also, he compares his style to that of a “painterly tai chi.” Similar to the yin and yang, the organic and geometric elements in his paintings celebrate both dichotomy and integration. Michael Kessler is well-known among collectors for “his deep, voluptuous reds, often offset by a glamorous black.”
For more information about Michael Kessler’s work, please click the links below:
The Art of Hospitality
After completing his pieces for the Fairfield by Marriott Fair Oaks Farms commission, Kessler said the following:
“As I was raised on a farm in Pennsylvania, this project was custom made just for me. As a young boy, I constantly drew pictures of farm activities and buildings. My toys were all little models of farm equipment and animals. During the past 40 years, I’ve developed an abstract vocabulary that very much stems from my agrarian upbringing in Pennsylvania. Making these paintings specifically for Fair Oaks Farms brought me full circle. After all these years, I was again making paintings of barns, stacks of hay, and crop circles. This was so much fun. So my intention was to produce sophisticated farm-based abstract paintings that are informed by all the recent developments in the contemporary lexicon.”
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