MICHAEL, Toby (b.1996)

Toby Michael: Self Portrait, 2021

Artists Statement

Toby Michael is an Oil Painter and Draughtsman from Buckingham, whose practice is
predicated upon 19th century academic methodology. He believes that the selective and
interpretive qualities of the academic method are conducive to the potential for a universal
read whilst retaining individual authenticity.
The subjects in Toby’s paintings are carefully chosen and depicted for the purpose of
aesthetics and their potential as vehicles for greater conceptual investigation when
contextualised alongside iconography derived from 80s/90s children’s television, art history and gaming culture. Toby draws parallels between painting and his experience consuming visual media as a child, where the viewer is invited into worlds grounded in a sense of realism. The manipulation of formal and conceptual elements are juxtaposed against the viewers experience of reality, which creates a tension between objective and axiomatic truth.


  • VAA Emerging Artist Award 2020
  • Clyde Hopkins Award for Valorous Painting 2018
  • Sky Portrait artist of the year finalist 2020
  • Longlist for the Sequested Prize 2021