New York’s native art star Michael Alan is on his way to conquer Europe with three shows overseas in the month of September. The prolific Brooklyn born artist will be showing over thirty pieces at two museums. The Spirit Museum in Stockholm, Sweden,Â will be showing drawings, masks, paintings and sculpture curated byÂ by Rick Herron and Bill Arning. Â Alan will be showing five works at Teckningsmuseet i Laholm, curated by curated by Zoe Pettijohn Schade,Â Christopher Schade and Madlen Herrs, which is a museum dedicated solely to drawing. He will also be unveiling a great new work at The Galleria Spazio Son Cino in Italy.
Alan is a prolific artist who takes drawings to a fantastic level of intricate beauty. He continues the language of draftsmen ship into our time, 2015. He makes bizarre sculptures incorporating drawings, paint and found objects, and creates monumental masks and costumes for his notorious live event the Living Installation.
This amazing happening has been running for thirteen years. In it Alan takes nude humans and transforms them, gradually dressing and painting them and attaching objects to their bodies. What happens over many hours is a creation of an assemblage of living beings into a tableau vivant that’s vibrating and transforming in front of your eyes. Alan’s work stretches and distorts reality, and is a wild commentary on the nature of fashion, the boundaries between nudity and clothing, the creation of wearable art, and is driven by a pulse pounding musical score, also of Alan’s creation.
Alan funds the entire enterprise himself, as he feels he is on a mission to develop a creative community that can come together in a space of pure imagination. With the European Institutions taking notice of this amazing artist it makes one wonder when the American Institutions and museums will strongly get on board and fully support this dedicated and driven young artist, and provide him the resources he needs to carry on this project. Were is the Brooklyn Museum? Where is the funding in the arts for this community based project?
Q. Your Living Installation is a one of a kind art experience here in New York. It’s an breathtaking, psychedelic explosion of color, music and images. Having attended many of them I can say that each one is unique. The Installations have live music, nude figures dressed in masks, paint and crazy costumes that evolve show after show. They evoke all the human emotions from hysterical comedy to wild tragedy and everything in between. How do you manage to make each show so wildly unpredictable?
A. I don’t do anything else in life. No girlfriend. No hobbies. Full dedication to making work. Making work that will hopefully manifest some type of lasting reaction. I practice. Rehearse. Create the music, make the Costumes and spend a ton of time writing out the show. If your gonna do art, it’s something you have to take to the max like the army or you just won’t make it.
Â Â Q. Your art is beyond amazing, the drawings, paintings and sculptures are intricate and passionate webs of vibrating colors and lines, with mischievous commentary and glimpses of serene beauty. What are you thinking when you are construction your pieces?
Â A. To go past what I did before. I take my mind past a place of human bullshit and pull as much energy I can into each work. I think of many things at once but most of all I think of the work itself. Not the politics or my self drama. I think beyond Michael.Â Â
Â Q. Now that you are blowing up in Europe what are your plans going forward?
Â A. To keep living, and working harder.Â
Q. You are known as an artist with deep roots in New York, how has this influenced your art?
Â A.Â I grew up in the epicenter of culture. When I was a baby art was at it’s high. I watched it all. My work is strong due to my struggles growing up here. NYC was also hell and if you didn’t live the high fancy life it was hard to stay alive. I took all that and pushed to survive as me and as a painter.
Â Q. Your Installation has been running for 13 years. When you arrive back in America from your museum show you are having one the night after you arrive?
Â A. Yes October 3rd. At Barnaby Ruhe’s loft in Westbeth. It’s close to sold out. There are a few tickets left on Michaelalanart.com under installation.Â Â
Â Q.You have overcome major health issues and are incredibly prolific in spite of being in constant pain. Where do you find the inner strength to constantly create at such a high level?
A. I got no choice. I can be a drunken idiot or push beyond and work till I drop dead
Special thanks to the photographers: Joe Egan, Nick Martin, Joseph Melloy and Hugo Burchardt
Want to be a fashion insider?Subscribe here for the latest updates direct to your inbox!