Michael Flaherty is best known for his landscapes, spontaneous, lyrical compositions that bring to mind aspects of the work of artists as diverse as Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Henry and Sean Mc Sweeney. He is uninhibited in use of paint, that is of the physical stuff, the pigment itself, which he has on occasion worked in layers of imposingly thick impasto, and of course in his use of paint as colour.”- “Flaherty’s work clearly doesn’t set out merely to record a scene in terms of its appearance, it enacts the excitement of the sexual experience of an environment and, equally, excitement of painting.”
Aidan Dunne – Irish Times Art Critic. Kilcock Art Gallery, 2000
“This is a remarkable exhibition. Incredibly fresh, incredibly instant. He captures very quickly , scenes which he’s very, very familiar with. He’s been seeping up this landscape for quite some time, but when he parks the canvas by the side of the road, or the middle of the field, or wherever, zoom, he’s in there and out in jig time. Remarkably few mistakes, but he captures that instant to perfection…
Remarkably assured technique…Bright pictures, just celebrating his local landscape…Then there are darker ones, like the cliffs at Dunquin, deep black, bits of navy deep sea, then this forbidding cliff face. This is the power of nature: you don’t mess with that.
The painting of the wave is dark, frightening. Nolde did famous wave many years ago, but this guy is doing his own thing. He owes nothing to nobody, but he’s a very self-assured painter, whether it’s these bright, happy scenes which sucks us in to enjoy the sunshine, enjoy the landscape, he has us under control. Remarkable pictures”
John Hunt – RTÉ Aug 1999