Resonating talent at Mikael Seffer’s new show

Full of Beans continues to showcase local artists from all walks of life and a variety of perspectives and last month’s exhibition was a real winner with Mikael Seffer’s collection of paintings of resin on canvas or board creating a spectacularly vibrant show. Business Editor Lindsey Turnbull reports.

The diversity of artistic talent in the Cayman Islands means we never get the chance to become bored with what we are viewing. As a case in point, Mikael Seffer’s ability to push boundaries, absorb his surroundings (whether at home or abroad), translate those inspirations into highly collectable art and continually bring something new to the table is an art in itself. Thus his latest exhibition at Full of Beans entitled ‘Sipping Jetstreams’ was a visual feast for all.    
His latest travels took him to Morocco, an experience which clearly had a profound affect on him artistically. “I found inspiration in the endless desert landscapes, the rugged Atlantic coastline, the vivid hues that dazzled in the local markets and the walls that held thousand year old secrets of an ancient culture,” he said.
Literally bringing a piece of his experience home with him, Mikael says he managed to transport back some of the colour pigments directly from Morocco.
“In particular I was transfixed by the incredible depth of the blues,” he says and confirms that his suitcase was stuffed with such pigment.
For this show it is evident that Mikael has had tremendous fun working with shades of blue, in particular juxtaposing them against their opposite colour in the spectrum – a range of heat-blasted terracottas, reds and oranges, taken, it seems, straight out of the heady, dusty Kasbahs of North Africa.
The end result is a kaleidoscope of work that gels together into one exhibition seamlessly, the flow of design, colour and even texture a delight for the eyes.
“I love working with resin,” Mikael confirms. “Sometimes I have a basic idea of how the piece will evolve but most of the time I just enjoy seeing it develop. It is poured over the board or canvas that I’m using, and then I gently tip the base to see the resin flow. Quite often it turns out quite different to my expectations and mostly my paintings seem to take on a life of their own. You can spend ages looking at them and see different details every time.”
Mikael says the ocean has always been one of the biggest inspirations for him and the viewer can definitely see this influence in his latest work, with the blues taking on the aquamarine that is so reflective of Cayman’s own waters.
‘Hidden Treasures’ for example could well be a study of what is hidden under the water, with turquoise shimmers and orange and green hues barely peeking through. ‘Lightstreams’ is for me another example of that haze you see on the water at midday when reflections turn horizontal and still.
More overtly themed with a Moroccan backdrop, ‘Moroccan Blue’, ‘Mint Tea’ and ‘Kasbah’ all also employ shades of the intense blue that Mikael has so readily adopted, while ‘Desert Rose’ picks up on the heat of terracotta with a white hot heat blast for good measure. All of the above are diptychs (i.e. in two) and were being sold separately or singularly but I think they would miss each other if split.
Likewise, Desert Rain is also split, this time a triptych (in three) and is a clever turn on Mikael’s other pieces, which generally have their movement horizontally. In this piece the movement is all vertical, with turquoise, orange and yellows creating a clever take on the subject, a rain-like effect with pure, vivid colour.
An intense collection from a unique talent.


Mikael Seffer