Michael Oatman calls his practice ‘the poetic interpretation of documents.’ His collages and installlations integrate thousands of found, modified and handmade components, including artifacts of material culture, painting, drawing, video, and food. These architectural ‘unvironments’ have been installed at museums, public spaces and private homes. His installations are ‘context-specific,’ and demand from him a total immersion into physical location, sonic/haptic realms, local history and the personal stories of those he encounters while working. He has exhibited extensively in the U.S. and abroad.
Oatman received his B.F.A. from RISD, and his MFA from the University at Albany. He has taught at Harvard, UVM, UAlbany St. Michael’s College and Vermont College. He has been a visiting critic at RISD from 1986 to the present. Since 1999 he has been a faculty member in the School of Architecture at Renssealer. In 2004 he began working with gifted students from RPI, Skidmore, SUNY and other schools under the name of Falling Anvil Studios.
He is represented by Ellen Miller in Boston, MA; Lenore Grey in Providence, RI; and Stremmel Gallery, Reno NV. In 2003 he won the Nancy Graves Award.
Pictured: Michael Oatman (with viewfinder) and Falling Anvil student with telescope designed by Michael, 2006.