BIO

Misha Bittleston was born in England. He grew up in the Ashdown Forest area of Sussex with his artist mother, older brother and younger sister, and spent weekends with his best friend in the beach town of Brighton.

When Bittleston was a child, his older brother moved to the U.S. to live with his father and attend high school in the San Francisco Bay Area, Misha left England, telling no one where he was going, and traveled across Europe. He remained in Italy on the island of Ischia for two years.

After narrowly surviving drowning in Italy he moved back to the U.K. where he lived in York.
He joined his brother and two sisters in the U.S. a year later.
Due to visa issues he did not return to England and lived for a decade as an illegal alien.
Bittleston became a US citizen in New York City in 2009.

He now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Although Misha proved himself to be highly technical, consulting with fortune 100 companies, as a child he had severe learning disabilities, and was given special accommodations to draw.
Misha never graduated from school or college and he holds no diploma.

Although Misha is a self taught / outsider artist he apprenticed as studio assistant to abstract Expressionist painter Marguerite Saegesser, was friends and painted with watercolorist Edith Smith - both of whom collected his work - and has a specialized knowledge of art history surrounding a few profound influences.

He has been making automatic drawings since he was a child that fall somewhere between therapy and lucid dreaming. His mostly small works fuse elements of abstraction, symbolism, tonalism, expressionism, divination and black and white photography.

PROJECTS

Numinous (early 1990s) –
Unfinished (1994-2000)
New Years Eve (1996 to present) –
Ink Paintings (1993 to 2006) –
Dream Painting Collaboration “RESIDENCY” (2006) – 1 2 3
Hoomi (2004-2008)
82 Dreamscapes (2009-2010)
Poetic Revenge (2010-2011)
Tigers with Wings (2012)
Countdown 'Til Destruction (2013)
(Alien) Spiritual Technology [PDF - 91 MB]
   presentation at American Folk Art Museum NYC
(2016)
 

STATEMENT

Misha Bittleston's work deals with texture and mystification. He starts his paintings with an unattentive mark or splatter. This automatic stroke defines the direction of the work. Following is a process of reacting.
It is through spontaneously reacting that the work takes on a sense of space, place and an identity.  More...

The line and dot drawings are parallel in that they are also automatic, while constraining his marks to form representations, he lets them come about as reactions to what came before. The line and dot drawings are scenic, have text, shapes become characters, compositions express ideas and narratives but are both obscured by and given dimension by the dot textures.

First he makes marks/lines that hold/surround potential. Second he makes texture/dots that realize/fill it.

Bittleston's work is about texture.
Just as textures identify objects, they also reduce objects into an arrangement of dots. The textures in Bittleston's work play with the tension between each dot and what they combine to represent. The surface the dots exists on and the meta surfaces they evince.

Bittleston's works expose in a way that also mystifies. Lke a process of questioning that leads to a purposeful relationship with uncertainty, his process of clarification and obfuscation gives plasticity and tangibility to each of his works.

 

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