Daily Special

Trout Ascending
Michael Crespo
Trout Ascending
1997 | oil on panel with lead | 18x21 | $10,000

Throughout his career, Michael Crespo (1947 – 2010) painted animals emerging from darkness into the light as though lit by some kind of ethereal, supernatural source. Inspired by Italian Renaissance and Baroque masters, and even modern Jungian psychology theories, Crespo’s dreams furthered the path to these fierce, and resilient depictions of nature. Crespo’s work re-establishes the universal spiritual connections between man, animal, and the natural world.

In Trout Ascending, the trout is ascending in more than one way: moving up from the bottom of the painting and also emerging from its dark background. Crespo used recycled wine lead foils to frame many of his paintings, separating the darkness of the painting from the darkness of its frame. Here, his framing method gives the fish a sense of space, weight, and most importantly contrast. The fish’s scales nearly glow in comparison to the black water, almost like a saint in a Carravaggio painting.

Michael Crespo was born in New Orleans in 1947 and passed away in Baton Rouge in 2010. He received his MFA degree from the City University of New York and BFA from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. He was a leading LSU School of Art faculty member for 40 years, serving as director from 1990-96. He exhibited constantly across the country, and his work is in numerous collections including the Aquarium of the Americas, New Orleans; Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock; J. McIlhenny Collection, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge; Louisiana Arts & Sciences Center, Baton Rouge Louisiana Division of the Arts, Baton Rouge; Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans; Rose Family Foundation, Memphis; and the Taco Bell Corporation, San Diego, CA.

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