“Art Unfiltered x Michael Alan: Mike Kronenberg Offers A Surreal View Inside the Work and Spirit of New York Based Artist, Michael Alan.
Once in a lifetime you might get the opportunity to an encounter an artist who is blazing a visionary trail, an artist who is overcoming all obstacles and has the internal strength and self discipline to work sixteen hour days crafting an epic and astounding body of work. In a world where irony and slick surfaces abound in the art world, Michael Alan is unafraid to create art using the blood, guts and tears of the human condition.
I recently had the opportunity to watch Alan at work in his creative frenzy. Sitting on the floor surrounded by pieces, his hands flit back and forth over the drawings, marking precise lines, collaging shapes and obscuring them with bursts of color, scraping and etching lines back in and out again and applying a range of tools in search of the perfect story. Alan’s life pours out through his lines, constructing personal narratives that he shares with the viewer.
One of Alan’s most popular and enigmatic images are “The Twins”, a pair of heads joined at the shoulder that gaze directly at you, their faces made up of painstaking and calligraphic cross hatching that are reminiscent of Holbein and Durer. They express the timeless patience of mountain scapes observing you, with enigmatic shapes growing out of their heads and shoulders. Are they portals or energy spirals, are these denizens of some dystopian Mad Max future or timeless gods calling out to you across the gulf of the past .
This piece is part of an edition of prints, two of which are still available. A larger version of this piece was recently donated to “Rock, Paper, Scissors” The first annual art auction to benefit the Alphabet City Art School at the Lower Eastside Girls Club, hosted by Debbie Harry, Rosario Dawson and Chloe Sevigney.
“Toxic Amerika” is a tiny piece that packs a wallop. It’s one of the pieces saved from the recent disastrous flood that destroyed Michael Alan’s home studio. Alan has painted over the most American of icons, a baseball card, and turned it into a unique commentary on our times. In it the Toxic American, his face a mutated blob with his mouth snarling stands wearing a day-glo orange shirt in front of a crackling background obscuring an American flag. In the piece Alan shows the ugliness that lies underneath the patriotic, my country right or wrong attitude and holds up a mirror to the American psyche that our twisted values have produced. Alan is an optimist who believes in the power of art and love to change the world, but he also pulls no punches when it comes to identifying where we as a society have gone wrong. (Continue Reading by Clicking on the Arrows Below)
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