Michael Klein

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS - MICHAEL KLEIN

Roam­ing the shores

For 400 years, wild horses have roamed the shores of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Early ex­plor­ers from Spain, put in a dif­fi­cult spot, had to ditch their cargo, in­clud­ing horses, and the crea­tures have thrived on the is­lands ever since. These ma­jes­tic crea­tures are the sub­ject of Michael Klein’s up­com­ing solo ex­hi­bi­tion at Maxwell Alexan­der Gallery.

Klein stum­bled upon the theme af­ter mov­ing from New York City to North Carolina. “These horses have been do­ing the same thing for hun­dreds of years, just graz­ing the lands, and as a sub­ject they haven’t changed at all,” Klein says. “The im­agery is re­ally in­cred­i­ble. It felt very Euro­pean, and very his­tor­i­cal, and yet it ex­ists right in front of us.”

In Kin­dred Spir­its, Klein por­trays his wife, ad­mir­ing two horses in a stall. “These are pri­vate horses, where a guide will take you on a ride to see the wild horses,” he ex­plains. “The im­age al­ludes to my wife’s ten­der­ness.”

A group of the coastal horses con­gre­gates on the shore in Win­ter Sur­vival. They graze on

the dor­mant grass, half cov­ered in a layer of snow. “These horses were ba­si­cally un­touched un­til the 20th cen­tury, and then they got di­min­ished be­cause of a bounty set on them in the 1930s,” Klein says. “Now, there are a few non­prof­its that pro­tect them.”

The show also fea­tures work from out­side the horse theme. Fu­ture Legacy, San Car­los was in­spired by Klein’s visit to the San Car­los Na­tion Apache Reser­va­tion in Scotts­dale, Ari­zona. “I went with a friend who was born there to help do some con­struc­tion,” he says. “The ex­pe­ri­ence made me think about the fu­ture of the reser­va­tion, and it gave me in­spi­ra­tion to do some­thing that would give re­spect to that part of the West­ern mar­ket.” Klein’s show at Maxwell Alexan­der opens De­cem­ber 8, with a re­cep­tion tak­ing place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Kin­dred Spir­its, oil, 24 x 36”

Fu­ture Legacy, San Car­los, oil, 16 x 23¼”

Win­ter Sur­vival, oil, 23 x 32¼"

Dry­ing Off, oil, 277⁄8 x 35½”

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