Michael Stasinos – Urban Landscape and Figurative Painting


michael-stasinos-4BORN IN CANOGA PARK, Calif., Michael now calls Seattle home. He attended Southern Utah University, where he studied both theater and fine art. “I began my university education by studying to become an actor,” he says. “However, exposure to the visual arts diverted my interest into new creative possibilities. The years I spent developing back-stories for my characters as an actor, or dressing sets to enhance the story as a director, had an influence on the type of artist I would become. I discovered early on that I was interested in representational and figurative art.”

Much to his delight, he discovered the MFA program at the New York Academy of Art, a program dedicated to exploring contemporary figurative ideas in art, with respect to its history and past techniques. Michael’s mentors and instructors at the Academy included many well-known figurative/representational painters, such as Alfred Leslie, Eric Fichel, Vincent Desiderio, and Martha Erlebacher.

After earning his MFA, he found it financially challenging to pay back his student loans while also hiring models necessary for his figurative work. His solution was to make the city his studio. “The sidewalks became my studio and the city my new model,” he writes.  “I consider every landscape a portrait, and just like a quality portrait, I want to capture a likeness and display the personality of my subject.”

His exhibition history includes many solo and group exhibitions at two of the top galleries in the region, first at Martin-Zambito Gallery, and then beginning in 2007, at Woodside-Braseth Gallery, both in Seattle. Both galleries not only work to develop and mentor new artists, but are also caretakers and researchers of Northwest masters.

While pursuing his passion for his painting, Michael is an Associate Professor of Art & Design at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash. Prior that that, he taught landscape and figurative painting at Gage Academy of Art in Seattle.

The freeway in a Stasinos painting is like the Grand Canal in Canaletto’s Venice, an omnipresent force of nature.” – Cornichon


Michael with Seattle Panorama, Convergence at Woodside-Braseth in 2010. Photo: Ronald Holden.