Alan Watson is a painter, photographer, assemblage artist and printmaker. He was born in Detroit and raised in nearby Redford Township. Watson’s family appreciated culture. After seeing his father take art classes, Watson started painting himself. His first subject was impressionist style landscapes. Later, as a teenager, he developed an interest in abstraction. He also began exhibiting in galleries at age 18. His love of painting led him to choosing art as a career.
Watson recieved a BFA from Wayne State University in 1990. It was at Wayne that Watson developed his signature “pull tape” technique that he employs in his abstract paintings to this day. While comleting a painting assignment about shape and form, he was inspired by the clean lines left on the canvas after the tape was removed. After experimenting with the ways that tape created negative and positive space, he began incorporating factory made stickers into his painting process. This inclusion of “ready-made” objects opened up further possibilities to create interesting shapes and effects. He developed this technique further while getting his MFA from Wishita State University in Kansas.
Over his artistic career, Watson has shown in galleries across the midwest and is represented in collections nationwide. He has also worked as a painting and drawing instructor. Currently, his work is informed by the experience of living in Michigan. In his work, he combines the post-industrial grittiness of the inner-city with the natural beauty of the Great Lakes. His works embody the paradoxical nature of the Michigan experience.