This painting suffered from scratches on the surface as well hair that had become somewhat troublesomely attached to the paint film due to hair products. Careful cleaning removed these impediments and conservation varnish preserved the surface and was also used to conceal the scratches.
Mike Morgan was born in Whangarei, New Zealand in 1952. He is one of New Zealand’s most iconic artists whose vibrant oil paintings are instantly recognizable for their immense detail, technical precision and humorous or satirical bent. People appear everywhere in his paintings and are usually depicted doing something rather strange, almost as if they were characters in a circus, thus adding to a surreal dimension. Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali are strong influences as well as artists much closer to home, Michael Smither and Brent Wong, being particularly influential during the 1960s and 1970s. His accomplished works are highly collectible as well as being, just like the man himself, so much fun.
A playful and gregarious character with an incredibly likeable personality, Mike is a well known and much respected artist who lived on Waiheke Island for many years and whom now resides in Waihi. His paintings frequently comment on the community with references to local activities, people and events. He has a particularly serious fondness for hotrods which often manifests itself in his art. As such many people will recognise his beloved hotrod called ‘Lucy’, named after the famous Beatles song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, which appears in a significant number of paintings.
For many years Mike worked in the steel fixing industry but finally realised his dream of painting full time when he moved to Waiheke Island in 1991. He is a well established artist in New Zealand who has been consistently exhibiting for over twenty years and also exhibits regularly in New York where he is highly regarded. His paintings have an international audience including the famous band U2 who in 1989 bought five of his works, with one member of the band then commissioning another. His art is sought after by the corporate sector and is included in the collections of many corporate Head Offices in Wellington and Auckland.