living installation

Featuring a selection of large scale drawings and ninety six playing cards, Michael Alan‘s newest exhibition Mind Body Sound opens this evening, December 6, at KHORASHEH + GRUNERT,  524 West 19th Street in Chelsea.  What follows are several more of Michael’s seductively poetic images to be exhibited:

Kindred Spirit the Floating Princess, Watercolor, marker, pencil, acrylic, airbrush, gouache, paint marker on paper, 36″x48″

Sit and Sing, White ink on red paper, 30″x40″

Royal Petite, Mixed media on baseball card

Purple Nurple Grace, Mixed media on baseball card

In conjunction with the exhibit, the artist’s iconic Living Installation will take place in the center of the gallery as Michael Alan and Jadda Cat will create a four-hour HUG human sculpture using their bodies, props, fabrics, sounds and emotions. The Living Installation is by admission only this coming Saturday from 8pm-12pm.

People are welcome to come gather, watch, photograph, make art, become one! For tickets, visit here.

Images courtesy of the artist

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Michael-alan-mom-and-child-portrait

The wildly imaginative and splendidly talented Michael Alan aka Michael Alan Alien is busily planning an artistic tribute to his mom, Raindrop, in his childhood Staten Island home this coming Saturday, June 17th.  What follows is a brief interview with him about it:

What spurred you to plan this tribute to your mom?

All that my mom has done — and continues to do — for me.  She saved me from the dark as I was growing up, and she inspired me to be the artist I am today. My mom is living art.

Michael-Alan-Mom-with-T-shirt-design

Can you tell us something about the role your mom played in your artistic career?

My mom was the first performer in my Living Installation projects. She helped me get started by modeling for my drawings at this very home and by modeling — clothed — at the early stages of Drawathon.  She has given so much to help me forge my career.

Michael-alan-figures

What can visitors to her home — your childhood home — in Staten Island next Saturday expect to experience?

There will be a seven hour tribute — from 5pm to 12am — for my mom with music, models, comedy and a BBQ. It will be on her property, and she will be performing with her husband, Michael, and the cast of the Living Installation. Part of the house will be set up as an installation of my mom’s past memories.  Jadda Cat, Living Installation’s new leader, will perform in a kids’ pool and do face-painting for kids. And there will be a chance for everyone to make art.

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And what about your art? Will any of it be shown at this event? 

Yes, over 60 of my works will be on display, along with photos of my mom and her religious prophesies.

Michael-alan-living-installation-at-home

How can folks attend the event? 

Tickets are $20.00 and can be purchased here.  The address will be provided to ticket holders. It is just a 10-minute bus ride from downtown Manhattan and the perfect retreat!

Editor’s note: For an intimate look into the artist, check out the following video produced by Alan Ket.

Photos provided by Michael Alan; interview by Lois Stavsky

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A new series of painting and drawings by the wonderfully talented multi-media artist Michael Alan will be on view at the Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert Gallery for two days later this month.  The second day of the exhibit, February 25, will feature a Living Installation. Curious about it all, I posed a few questions to Michael.

"Michael Alan"

Can you tell us something about the title Immortal Equations? What does it mean?

For me, great artwork conveys a taste of planning mixed with spontaneity. The great masters made sure your eyes moved all around the picture plane. They sure didn’t want their heads cut off. When I work, whether on a flat surface or on people, I think in terms of something that will live past NOW and, also, has an algorithmic pop to it – whether through color and line or just balance.

The Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert Gallery describes Immortal Equations as a Living Installation, a solo exhibition and a theatrical happening. What can attendees expect to happen? 

I’ve been going through myriads of health issues, so I just wanted to do a 2-day special show. On Feb 24th, day one, there will be an exhibit of some new works. I will be there. It’s a basic opening, but my crowd varies from high-end collectors to my boys I grew up with. It’s a real NY show! And I’m planning to return for a month-long exhibit somewhat later on.

"Mihael Alan"

What about the second day?

On the 25th starting at 6pm, the drawings come to life. I will do my staple event, a Living Installation, with nine others, and six hours of live music by me and Tim “Love” Lee. There will also be six hours of non-stop live-action over-the-top recreation of the human body. 

What would you like your participants to walk away with? What is the mission of this event?

Creative inspiration, happiness, and many thoughts. We live to shut off, especially in a time of high technology. I try to slow time down and let people watch a Human Fish Tank. It’s for the people. I do this for community and for people to come and participate: to make drawings, write and be turned into living paintings.

"Michael Alan art"

Can you tell us something about this specific venue? The curator?  Who else – besides – you will be featured?

The venue is Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert Gallery at 33 Orchard Street off Hester on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Mitra Khorasheh is curating the show. The performers and participants include: David Modelo, Stacey Dawn, Selina Lee, Genevieve Sophie Snow, Kimtacular, Wren, Laura WeylAlyssa D’Anna and photographer Kristen Collins, along with live music by me and Tim “Love” Lee.

How can folks gain admission?

The first night’s exhibit is free and open to the public.  The second night – the Living Installation – is by admission only. For tickets, please visit www.michaelalanart.com under Installation.

Michael-Alan-Living Installation

 Interview by Lois Stavsky; photos 1-3 courtesy of the artist; final photo by Kristen Collins

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A multi-media artist who translates energy into mesmerizing artworks, Brooklyn-based Michael Alan is also the founder and director of Living Installations, where human beings are transformed into living art images. Michael Alan’s art has been featured in nine New York solo shows, over 200 group shows and in over 200 living installations. We were delighted to interview this gifted, prolific and passionate artist.

"Michael Alan"

How did you first get into art? What inspired you?

I’ve been into art for as long as I can remember. My first inspirations were the Muppets and baseball. As a kid, I would draw cartoons.

Could you tell us something about the subject of your artwork these days? And the process?

My subjects are often people I observe while sitting here in McCarren Park.  I try to read their energy. I start by drawing a particular person’s body with a pen. And then when I’m back home, I often add watercolor or markers as I interpret the energy that I’ve felt.

What about your Living Installations? What was the initial idea behind them?

I wanted to create a space where people could come together in a positive way.  I wanted people to feel that they could accomplish whatever they set out to do. And I also wanted them to know that they don’t have to follow any pre-determined path.

Michael-Alan-public-art-installation

How has your family responded to your passions?

They’re proud of me. My mom actually participated in some of my performances.

What percentage of your waking hours is devoted to your art these days?

Including music, about 95%.

Can you tell us something about the role of music in your life?

When I’m working at home, I listen to music. And I always have music playing during my living installations. Music and art become one.

Michael-Alan-mixed-media-art

Have you collaborated with any other visual artists?

I’ve collaborated with my cousin Moody and with a few fine artists including Alex Katz.

How do you feel about the role of the Internet in the art scene?

If it weren’t for the Internet, I don’t know if I’d have a career.

Do you have a formal arts education? And was it worthwhile?

I have a BFA from the School of Visual Arts. As an art student, I received lots of positive feedback and, yes, that did make a difference.

Michael-Alan-Mixed-media-art

What’s the riskiest thing you’ve ever done? And Why?

After damaging my spine at the Dumbo Arts Center, I continued moving and dancing.  Why? Because I was ignorant.  Also – setting my hat on fire while performing in Spain was quite risky.

Were you ever arrested?

A few times. Once the cops assumed that I was going to use a mask I had made for an installation to rob someone. And assorted materials – like photocopies of living installation projects – that the cops have found in my car have also led to arrests.

What inspires you these days?

Different people I meet and the energy they give off. Things that happen and how they make me feel – like my grief over the death of my dear friend DG.

Michael-alan-fine-art

Are there any particular cultures you feel influenced your aesthetic?

I’ve been influenced by indigenous cultures, punk, new wave, African art, growing up in NYC and everything I’ve seen at the Museum of Natural History.

Do you work with a sketch in your hand or do you let it flow?

I work from line drawings.

Are you generally satisfied with your work?

Making art — in general — satisfies me. And if a drawing doesn’t work for me, I will somehow reuse it.

Michael-Alan-Mixed-media-art

How has your work evolved in the past few years? 

It is more mature, smoother and freer. I’m always learning in art, just as I’m learning in life. Art is life.

What do you see as the role of the artist in society?

To touch as many people as possible and to set people free.

What’s ahead?

I can’t even think about it. If I could, I’d be scared. But I know that I will keep going. More art and more struggle. And currently I’m at work on “The Muppets Take Manhattan,” a Living Installation for children.

Have you any message to others?

Whatever you do, push yourself and work hard at it. Working hard and creating art have kept me sane.

Interview conducted by City-as-School intern Travis Hicks with Lois Stavsky; images courtesy of the artist.

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