Tanja Grunert Gallery


Michael Alan‘s wonderfully inventive new works remain on view through Saturday at Chelsea’s Tanja Grunert Gallery, 524 W 19th Street. After visiting his riveting exhibit, Nine Lives, we posed a few questions to the prolific artist.

Can you tell us something about the title of your current exhibit? What is the significance of Nine Lives to you?

The title, Nine Lives, is a play on my health issues and my determination to not focus on them, but to take what I’ve I learned and help others through my art. The works in this exhibit expand beyond my human life.


How have recent life events impacted this body of work? 

Everything that happens to me impacts my work. I represent the tradition of creating work based on my life. My work is my life’s visual journal.


We love your characters. Who or what inspired them? Are they based on people you know? Or are they simply figments of your imagination?

I see them as part of my visual language — from ghosts of my past to art history references, to my friends and my models and now everyone! Draw the world, and do everything you can do! Life is short. Don’t stay limited or become a brand.


There’s quite a mix of styles and media on exhibit in Nine Lives. Have you any favorite piece or pieces? Any favorite medium?

I wish I could choose a favorite. My mind would be more simple — in a sense — if I could. But I’m a complex multitasker, and I love all things equally! I try as hard as I can to edit and make each work better or at least equal to the last. I think every piece should all hold up on its own.


How did the opening at Tanja Grunert Gallery go? It is such a lovely space.

The opening attracted over 500 people. Paul Jacobson had a solo show in the bottom-level gallery, and I loved showing with him. We didn’t have much time to promote our exhibits, but so many people came! Thanks to all! Thank you!


 What’s next?

I couldn’t say what’s to come, because if I did, I wouldn’t have to do it. It would be done! Every day is a gift, even a bad day! So I just count everything as a blessing…even if it’s a negative.

Photo credits: 1 courtesy Michael Alan; 2-5 Tara Murray and 6 Jennifer Lopez, courtesy Michael Alan


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