Portrait of an Optimist living in the Paradise of Hydra
Michael Lawrence began his 'Voyage in Art' growing up in Rome, Italy. The thirteen year old was spotted on a bus and asked to read for 'The Boy on a Dolphin'
to be filmed on Hydra Island in 1957 with Alan Ladd and Sophia Loren.
He didn't get the part! And he didn't become an actor. As a result of living in Rome however he developed into a painter, sculptor and writer. The color of
Rome, her fountains and street life inspired him to create his own world!
In 1992 he came to Hydra and fell in love with the purity of the island! Carrying a collection of works on paper based on
Henry Miller's 'Colossus of Maroussi', which he had exhibited in Sweden and France, he journeyed to Hydra wanting to experience the real Greece!
His admiration for Greece began in Rome where the beauty of antiquity had inspired his parents to collect. In the theatre
arts they explored the arts of the past and their dramatic histories!
Michael's father Marc, when he wasn't working in films took young Michael on Sunday excursions to Etruscan cities.
His dad became friends with Prince Massimo, whose wife an actress co-starred with Marc in films. She introduced him to Massimo. The Prince was passionate
about history as his family could be traced back to the Etruscans! He himself was a collector of antiquities!
Happily an Etruscan city was unearthed on his country estate! The Lawrence's enjoyed a meal in the courtyard of the estate, desert served in Etruscan
Young Michael traded his wire Chaplin sculpture for an Etruscan artifact with the Prince!
Michael had been impressed by Chaplin's 'Modern Times', a wonderful ballet he discovered by chance! That was a lot of what made Rome magical and what made
making art, playing with materials, a surprise!! A gift from the imagination!
Later these connections to the past became a theme in Michael's work, combining the past and the present into one, a new
Many of his works exist in an 'eternal now', bringing together elements to create a new optimism.
These encounters/ influences are explored completely in three books by the artist ... MY VOVAGE in ART, LOADED
On Hydra Michael has prepared 14 one
person exhibitions since 1992 at the Melina Mercouri Exhibition Hall! Each exhibition exploring Hydra in a different manner. Landscapes, portraits, and romantic surreal combinations in numerous
materials including bronze, oil colors, acrylics, and watercolors of various sizes owe their bearable lightness of being to Hydra's ever changing influences!
His work is in numerous collections on the island including our own Lazarus
Kountouriotis Mansion Museum, Hydra Archives Museum and the City Hall offices. His work can also be seen and acquired at Greco Gold an excellent shop on the port of Hydra! They have works on canvas
displayed at their hotel. Should you want to explore his world further calling the artist up on the phone often works well!
His work is in numerous collections off the island including The Los Angeles County Museum, Musset Moderna in Stockholm, MoMA library and privately Oliver Stone the filmmaker!
Currently on display in the artist's studio are a series of paintings of the Hydra landscape, various portraits, water colours and sculptures made on site between 2007 - 2017.
Best to phone the studio to book a viewing to see everything!
Michael is one of the most accessible artists resident in Hydra and you are welcome to visit his studio, by appointment, to view and buy his work direct from
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