wtc memorial

Ten recent paintings from the series Monsters and Maidens are currently on exhibit at A Noise Within Theatre in Pasadena, California through May 26, 2013. Please join us for a reception at the theatre on Friday, May 10th from 6-8pm.

A painting from the When the Gods Were Young series will be exhibited as part of The 2013 Annual Juried Show at the Las Vegas Contemporary Arts Center(CAC) in through July, 2013.

Michael Allyn Roy has a B.A. in Painting/Sculpture/Graphic Arts from UCLA and an MFA in Film and Interactive Media from the USC School of Cinema-Television. He teaches computer graphics and design at FIDM in Los Angeles.

For a complete CV please click here.


I. Mythological portraits.

I paint the stories that I find in my own snapshots of friends and family.  Snapshots have a rude, oracular quality unlike any other visual media.  They promise a story just beyond the frame, recalling and embellishing vanities, victories and unintended consequences colliding with the chaos of the world.

The universality of the snapshot offers a pinhole view into something both familiar and embarrassing; like seeing your parent naked.  It’s a small step to overlay mythopoetic meaning onto snapshots, metamorphosising ordinary moments into archetypical drama.  In the metaphysics of my paintings suburban quarrelsome parents become the ur-parents Hera and Zeus; a graceful girl sheathed in plastic is transformed into a magical River Nymph.

In my work the physicality of the painted surface itself--active and gestural--embodies this transformation from photograph to painting and from mythical time to the present.  The surface of my paintings is inviting and luxurious, like the frosting on a cake.   This sensuality is produced musically:  the snapshot is the prepared score, the painting is the record of my performance of that score.  I begin with a painted rhythm, a formal organization created by an impasto underpainted layer of expressive geometry.  Successive passages add color, harmony, counterpoint and the conventions of illusionistic representation.  The finished painting oscillates between depiction and abstraction -- a melody dancing above a rhythm.

II. Landscapes
In addition to figurative work I have a long-standing interest in landscape painting. Some recent images of landscapes are included in the site. You can see these paintings by following the landscapes link.

III. September 11, 2001 Memorial

In 2003 l designed a memorial proposal,
The Waterknot, for the World Trade Center site. The memorial design lead to a long-term, on-going project to create a monoprint for each life lost on September 11, 2001. A portion of the monoprint project was exhibited at Smyth gallery in Pasadena, California in 2006 and is available for viewing on this site under the link Monoprints.   For more about the project select the link WTC Memorial.