Mike Cockrill's paintings closely detail the rich transition from the world of childhood fantasy to adult awareness in a manner that is both playfully innocent and sexually charged. Characterized by an interest in nostalgic figuration, Cockrill’s paintings balance the sacred and profane as well as issues of sex, politics and the suburban family.
With his own distinctive blend of the playful and the serious, Mike Cockrill has been making and exhibiting provocative and challenging figurative paintings for over 35 years. After first gaining notoriety in the early 80s for brash and satirical cartoon paintings, his art has developed psychological nuance and complexity. He has worked through tongue-in-cheek yet darkly disturbing depictions of adolescent girls calmly killing clowns, to sweetly painted scenes that tweak the sexual suggestiveness he has found in children’s book illustrations. Cockrill references a wide range of sources in his work: from high art to advertising, from Giacometti to Norman Rockwell. Mike Cockrill has had over 20 solo exhibitions and his work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Art in America, ARTnews and many other publications.