Michel Delgado was born on the West Coast of Africa, in Dakar, Senegal. Pursuing a path to the arts from a young age, his work has become an outlet for inquiry, honesty and memory.
Throughout the 1980’s 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 Massachusetts and continued his career. First exhibiting in the Southern region of Florida and Philadelphia, Delgado is now based in Chicago and frequently travels the country for his exhibitions.
His work has become more widely known in the past decade, having been acquired by private collectors throughout the nation, and is now a part of the public collections of the Plain Arts Museum in Fargo, North Dakota, and American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. In 2014 his 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 expressive. 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.’