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The Acrylic Alchemist: The Art Portfolio of Michael Carini

An acrylic painting with numerous strands of coloured paintThe Day Pandora Set Me Free (Misteriora), acrylic on canvas

Michael Carini is an artist based in San Diego, California. In his practice, Carini is known as the Acrylic Alchemist, creating works in his titular medium that utilize geometric abstraction and saturated colours to achieve an effect that’s almost digital in appearance.

An acrylic painting with blue tones and elongated brush marksJust Floating On The Tears (Flears), acrylic on canvas


In his recent series The Boy in the Box, Carini’s paintings explore the desire and search for “personal freedom,” and serve to push the envelope both visually and conceptually. Carini takes the acrylic medium to fascinating extremes -- there’s a sort of mathematical sensibility throughout the series. With canvases covered in fine strands of colour that mesh together in the manner of grass, wire, or hair, it’s easy to think of fractals or quantum physics while exploring these works.


The colour palette that Carini favours is unapologetically saturated, with hues ranging from deep, dark blues to bright magentas and neon yellows. Some of the images remind me of digital works by Melissa Ann Lambert, making Carini’s use of traditional media all the more fascinating.

An abstract painting with a purple ground and greenish shapesKing Nothing And The Discovery Of The Lost Venus (For SAMO), acrylic and spray paint on panel

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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