Chicago-based artist Mike Paro frames his practice through conceptual concerns that are contingent, changing, and fairly fluid. He approaches his work through ad hoc design and the concept of synecdoche. On one hand, Mike finds some oddity already within his work and copies it – ad hoc. On the other hand, some of his works incorporate conflation or confusion between part and whole, relating to synecdoche. Through each approach, Mike experiments with geometry, composition, color, and form, exploring the intersection of aesthetics and process.
Mike also contemplates the built environment a lot and spends time looking at David Schalloil and Curtis Locke, two individuals who share a similar eye to his. He states: “I have been influenced by both individuals’ connection to space and place. Both have a keen eye in how places morph, function and operate. I find a really rich connection between art and architecture–but what totally enthralls me … the connection between building and making.”
This coming spring Mike and artist Noël Morical are collaborating on a beehive project for Bike-a-Bee, organized by Jana Kinsman. Their ongoing collaboration involves them each making two kinds of beehives – a skep and stackable Langstroth hive. Skeps are traditionally woven structures dating as far back as ancient Egypt, while Langstroth hives are commonly used for honey production today. Both structures suit Mike and Noël’s practices very well, and for Mike, further feeding into the concepts he’s been examining within his artwork.