Michael A. Rosenfeld was born in Saint Louis, Missouri in 1961. His early work was influenced by the surrealists like Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali. One of his earliest paintings, at age thirteen, was of a flying bulldog and a giant saddle shoe. Continuing painting through high school, he then went to Wesleyan University, earning a BA with honors in studio art. At Wesleyan he would study realism, painting from life and still life strictly, under artists Jacqueline Gourevitch and David Schorr. He was also introduced to black and white prints by Edouard Manet of scenes from the American Civil War, contained in the Davison print collection.
Later attending Washington University in Saint Louis, where he would receive his MFA, Rosenfeld would focus on color almost as a subject unto itself. Experimenting with color under the tutelage of abstract artists Hilary McMahon and Peter Marcus, he would diverge from realism until it led to using different forms of imagery derived from media, imagination and dreams.
Moving to New York in 1987, Rosenfeld used the juxtapositional aspects of Surrealism to combine disparate forms of imagery in each painting. Showing at various venues in the East Village art scene, he found himself doing artwork for music videos, and developed important friendships among Hip Hop and Graffiti artists.
In 1991, finding that he was showing more on the west coast, Rosenfeld moved to Los Angeles. In the 90’s and early 2000’s his work took on more political and historical themes, while retaining the colorful aspects of earlier work. In 2004, along with a group of artists who believed that through painting, art retains its human touch and aspect, Rosenfeld helped to build Pharmaka in Downtown Los Angeles.
One historical icon that appeared at times in the work was the Zeppelin. In 2005, asked by a curator to do a work on paper for the show ”From America”, at the Museum for Contemporary Art in Minsk, Belarus, Rosenfeld did a painting of a Zeppelin moored among palm trees. This image was executed without the juxtapositions which characterized earlier work. The dreamlike nature of the resulting painting has led to a continued exploration of dirigibles, airships and Zeppelins. Recent work continues to evolve with experiments in the use of color and monochrome, as well as with imagery.
Rosenfeld’s work has shown in galleries and museums in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver B.C., St. Louis, Minsk, and is found in collections internationally