Michel Delgado was born on the West Coast of Africa, in Dakar, Senegal. Pursuing a path to the arts from a young age, this works has become an outlet for inquiry, honesty, and memory.
Throughout the 1980s, he lived in Paris, exploring and participating in the major European city’s art scene. The painter immigrated to the United States in 1988, where he lived in Hyannis, Massachusetts and continued his career. First exhibiting in the Southern regions of Florida, Delgado now works and creates in his studio in Chicago and South Florida, and frequently travels the country for his exhibitions.
In 2004, the Artist’s work was featured in a museum exhibition at the Miami Art Museum and was also awarded the prestigious 2004 South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship for Visual and Media Artists. In 2014 he moved his studio to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and in 2017 moved to Chicago, where he is currently based at the Zhou B Art Center.
His work has become more widely known in the past decade, having been acquired by private collectors throughout the nation, and is part of the public collections of the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota, and the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.
His latest project, the Gum Spotting Experience, was recently on exhibit in Philadelphia as part of Philadelphia International Airport’s Exhibition Program. Delgado’s work was featured in the Fox television network series Empire, alongside works by Kehinde Wiley.
"Growing up in Senegal, on the west coast of Africa, life and art shared the same space. They were indistinguishable. As a young boy in Dakar, I learned that art is the tool I have for a direct and honest conversation with my own heart. Art always has been my rescuer, my liberator – creatively, emotionally, spiritually. I’m a self-taught painter, able to create in any media, always painting work that is straightforward and personal, work coming from a place within me that is constantly loud and growing."
"My work has been called naive. I fill my canvases with intense and basic colors, crisply painted shapes, and meticulous detail; I make work without conventional representational techniques; my work is free of metaphor, irony and paradox. I paint straightforward narratives, stories of my journey and memories of everyday experiences.
Everything I create and paint comes through my relationship with the world around me, my direct response to my fantasies, my wonder and my spiritual growth. No journey in my life remains as straightforward as painting."
- Michel Delgado
Watch the studio visit with Michel Delgado on Facebook: