Born in 1977, Michalec is an artist who lives and works in Dayton, OH.
My work depicts ultramodern scenes of domestic life. Creating large scale paintings (some 7 feet tall), I use family life as a reference. Documenting covertly, I use my phone’s camera to capture our relationships with each other and daily life. Social media has idealized family life, but I try to depict moments of both simultaneous disconnect and connection.
Painting for me is both an embrace of and resistance to domestic life. The work’s narrative portrays the contradiction in my own desires for home and normalcy versus the unrealistic demands imposed on motherhood. There is a saccharine image of family life depicted in pop culture. The expectation is that mothers are to provide a perfect future and produce lives of happiness and fulfillment for their children. The dichotomy of the family is emotional closeness yet frequently, missed connections. Often, someone's attention is pulled away by technology as they check their phone, watch TV, or are simply lost in thought. When you connect to some things, you disconnect from others, those choices shape our lives. The painter, Fairfield Porter said, “Love is paying attention.” My work is about those small moments that linger.