Metro Boston article - February 14, 2003
- Note: This article was included in the weekend edition of Metro Boston for the weekend of February 14-16, 2003. It has been shortened to February 14 in the title of this page for simplicity.
Welsh Works Out His Inner Demons
by Selene Angier
Dark, twisted, and downright scary are just a few words one could use to describe the paintings in Mikey Welsh's one-man show "Infections" at the Paradise Lounge last fall.
Following his much-publicized departure from the rock band Weezer a couple of years back, Welsh returned home to Boston to mend after a nervous breakdown. Therapy took form in painting. There was a little trepidation in sharing his works, said Welsh, "but I used my friends, people I respect intellectually, as a barometer."
The Paradise show was well received and several write-ups appeared in local and national magazines. An article in Boston magazine by Ted Drozdowski, then lead to Welsh being a part of "Between Art and a Rock Place," an exhibit of local musicians' works now showing at the Zeitgest Gallery in Cambridge.
"It's overwhelming to be put on display like that. ...it's very personal. There's nothing to hide behind," admits Welsh. But he goes on to say he "wasn't nervous about what [people] would think." Artists are driven by something beyond themselves to "exorcise the demons." Adds Welsh, "It's like a psychological catharsis."
"I like to feel as insane as possible when I'm painting," Welsh said. Counting such tortured artists as Francis Bacon and Jackson Pollock among his influences, it's no surprise Welsh produces paintings that are so haunting and, above all, compelling. His works are emotionally naked and bravely reveal the demons that darken the corners of his mind.
"I don't think art is supposed to be pleasant and happy. It's a free-for-all," Welsh said.