Born in 1983, in Long Island, New York, Michelle Sakhai’s extensive world travels began at an early age and her mixed heritage have shaped her as an artist. With both Persian and Japanese roots, her art derives influences from both cultures. She grew up traveling to Japan to visit her family every summer for twenty years. In Japan, Sakhai was inspired by the culture and scenery of her grandparent’s hometown, Kashiwazaki, a tiny village by the sea, surrounded by vast mountains. This special place left an indelible impression that still feeds her imagination. Sakhai’s creative perception and talent were also nurtured by her Persian culture. The exposure to both traditions in her young life has impacted her artistic vision.
In 2004, Sakhai received a Bachelor of Arts degree with high honors, majoring in Art History and minoring in Fine Arts from Hofstra University where she currently serves on the advisory board for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She went on to receive her Masters in Fine Arts in 2010 from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA. Before obtaining her Masters, she studied in Venice, Italy, and in Barcelona, Spain, at d’Arts Plastique I Disseny (LLOTJA) with the School of Visual Arts. Sakhai also studied at the Marchutz Academy of Fine Art in Aix en Provence. In 2006, she received a grant to attend the Vermont Studio Center as a resident artist in Johnson, VT. Shortly after receiving her Masters in San Francisco, she taught Fine Art at the University of California, Berkeley.
My paintings reference the teachings of Transformative Art. With a focus on light and energy, each spontaneous stroke serves as a vehicle for healing and channeling peace. My approach reflects my formal background as a plein air painter, however my work today, in part, encompasses the style of abstract expressionism. Using metal leaf and oils on canvas my process is emotionally transformative and spiritually expansive.
Energy flows onto the canvas, emotion takes a unique form. My process feels unbounded, limitless. I have discovered that in this place I am working as a soul. There is no duality, the abstract forms, and formlessness just are. I did not, at first know that this level of freedom was possible.
When I connect with a deeper part within myself as I paint, I believe that this translates to those who view my work. My hope is that each viewer that feels this resonates in turn can connect with their own inner consciousness. Art offers connection. My hope is to connect on a deeper level with each viewer of my work.
Michelle Sakhai is represented by galleries Internationally and in the U.S. including; Slate Art Contemporary in Oakland, CA, Madelyn Jordon Fine Art in Scarsdale, NY, Corazon Contemporary Gallery in Santa Fe, NM, Mixx Projects in Telluride, CO and Giovanni Rossi Fine Art in Miami, Florida. She continues to exhibit worldwide with a solo show at Palette Gallery in Tokyo, Japan and B12 Gallery in Ibiza, Spain. Her work has been featured at Art Market Hamptons and Context Art Miami and NY by Madelyn Jordon Fine Art. Sakhai actively exhibits on both coasts, in San Francisco and New York City. She was selected to be the artist in residence at The Fairmont San Francisco in January 2017. Her work has been displayed in New York City at The Art Show through the ADAA at the Park Avenue Armory, LIC Arts Open, and the Lehman Art Gallery in NYC, and at Stanford Art Spaces, MarinMOCA and SOMArts in the San Francisco, Bay Area.
In pursuit of her spiritual path, Michelle Sakhai is a Primordial Sound Meditation instructor through the Chopra Center, as well as a certified Reiki Master. She believes and trusts in the energy of the creative spirit as a healing force on the earth. Sakhai conveys this valuable message of healing through her art and all her speaking engagements. She teaches Transformative Art at the Harlem Hospital through the ArtWorks Foundation in New York City where she currently resides while continuing to travel the world.