Project Room

Michael Garland Clifford:
Tropical Purgatory

Locust Projects is proud to present Tropical Purgatory, an installation by the late Miami-born artist Michael Garland Clifford (1989 - 2016). The exhibition is constructed from renderings created for a proposal at the Locust Projects’ Project Room as well as through correspondence with family, friends and artistic partners.

Known for his crude, process-based paintings, his work often appeared deliberately unrefined. He often employed the use of ingenious abstract mark-making methods and punctuated his works with nostalgic symbols. His canvases were imbued with childlike naievety while acknowledging the anxieties of youth. The project he proposed for LP explores these motifs in a fully-fleshed physical environment

The project on view at LP posthumously realizes the artist’s vision to create his first immersive installation. The title Tropical Purgatory is taken from the Clifford’s conversation with his friend and gallerist Mickey Pomfrey about his ideas for this show. A middle ground between paradise and inferno, a place of waiting and repentance, this purgatory is one of leisure and beauty. A place where fate is cast and obstinate, things that once were fun now become maddening. Monotony and ennui of it all can really weigh you down.

The exhibition is organized by Exhibitions Manager Ricardo Mor, with Lucila Garcia de Onrubia, the Clifford family, Mickey Pomfrey and Oliver Apte. All the work in the exhibition was executed for the exhibition with the approval of the Clifford family.

Michael Clifford, in his own words:

“Incidental, laboriously quick, and preciously considered, Clifford’s work is executed with levity, amassing elements of sexuality, loss, and sentimentality. Clifford investigates abstract mark making through the implementation of symbols. The notions in these symbols become bittersweet in their familiarity, yet are rooted in a faint memory. The use of familial materials in his work suggests a proclivity towards childhood prophecies and intuition. Whether mark making with paper towels, drawing with his fingers, or painting with smoke bombs, Clifford’s practice is an ode to the frantic romantic in a collectively aware and domestic setting.”

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