Mike Ousley is a contemporary artist from Eastern Kentucky. Influenced by the Appalachian traditions of Storytelling, Folk Art, and Folklore.
"Myths in ancient civilizations are known only by virtue of the fact that they became part of a written tradition, and many of these more contemporary tales would be lost were it not for the same inclination. Similarly, Ousley records an oral tradition in paint, aligned with the powerful folk tradition he was born into: - Clay Flynn
"American folk art tends to be panoramic and Ousley’s is no exception. Holy Ghost Tent Revival and Pool Party (both 2021) are wide-view, bold-colored snapshots of people at worship and play, dispatches from a broader human comedy that occasionally make Ousley’s work remind of Pieter Brueghel or James Ensor as much as Grandma Moses. Like those artists, darkness lurks at the edges of Ousley’s painting, giving a dimension of menace and mystery to even wholesome-looking scenes"- Harry Tafoya
"Mike Ousley'sjewel like paintings tell narratives that are ostensibly playful, even whimsical, like the parables of Heironymous Bosch. The ambiguousness of his subjects, however, gives way to an apprehension of something dreadful hidden in plain sight. Are the inhabitants of his bucolic settings at play or are they up to something hedonistic, or even Wicked? That we can fancy a guess points to our own complicity in their indulgences, whatever they may be." - Michael Rooks, Curator of Contemporary Art; High Musuem, Atlanta, Ga.