Alan Ket

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.

Michael-alan-face

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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On Urban Art Legends by KET

February 15, 2016

The following post is by Houda Lazrak, a contributor to StreetArtNYC and recent graduate of NYU’s Masters Program in Museum Studies

Urban Art Legends, by the renowned graffiti writer, photographer, curator and author Alan Ket aka KET, presents 39 engaging profiles of key urban artists, along with photos of their significant works.

Urban-Legends-Ket

After a concise and informative introduction, in which he terms urban art as “this other art world,” KET introduces his readers to such pioneering and influential artists as ATOME, Futura, JON ONE, Lady Pink, Mode 2, Os Gemeos and Saber. Included in the artist profiles are: essential career highlights, defining artistic features, style evolutions, crew associations and specific creative projects, along with the artists’ engagement with the fine art world.

We learn, for example, that in addition to painting train graffiti, DAZE exhibited alongside Basquiat and Haring at NYC’s Mudd Club, lectured at universities and designed a train station — with Lee and Crash — in Germany.  Iconic musicians such as Madonna and Eric Clapton have purchased his canvases and numerous museums in the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands have added his paintings to their collections.

crash-graffiti

Crash, KET notes, pioneered the graffiti movement’s relationship with the gallery world with the exhibit, Graffiti Art Success for America, that he curated at Fashion Moda in 1980. He has since exhibited in museums throughout the world and partnered with a range of companies on varied projects. And he is now, once again, active on the streets.

KET also selects some 20 artists — including Sane Smith, Risk and JON ONE — to whom he awards  “legendary status.”  We discover, for example, that Sane Smith was sued for three million dollars for painting a work visible for miles on NYC’s Brooklyn Bridge. Risk attains “legendary status” for being the first Los Angeles writer to paint a NYC subway train when he visited in 1978. And KET confers legendary status on Paris-based Harlem native JON ONE for receiving France’s premier award, the Legion of Honor, for his contributions to art and culture in France.

jonone=graffiti-Le Départ

KET also seamlessly links the two worlds of street art and graffiti by telling the stories of individuals — such as Ben Eine and Os Gemeos – who have dual identities as both graffiti writers and street artists.

Urban Art Legends beautifully captures the diversity of artistic practices found in our cities — from subway trains to galleries and back onto the streets. KET’s enthusiasm and passion for urban art pervade these pages as he writes that “justice cannot be done to all those incredible talented individuals who have informed and advocated” the urban art movement.

Urban Art Legends certainly comes close, as it offers readers a solid grasp of over three dozen of those individuals who have significantly impacted the urban art scene.

Atome_image-4

Published in the UK by LOM ART, Urban Art Legends is now available online and in most NYC bookstores.

All images courtesy LOM ART:

1. Book cover, designed by Jamie Keenan; Nick Walker, 2015, Photography by Paul Green

2. CRASH, panel piece on subway train, Bronx, New York, USA, 1980. Photography by Phade

3. JONONE, Le Départ, spray paint and acrylic on canvas, 600 x 300 c.m., 1994, Speerstra Collection

4. ATOME, Sydney, Australia, 2014. Photography by artist

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