The New York Optimist
© MMIX, The New York Optimist. All Rights Reserved. The New York Optimist & www.thenewyorkoptimist.com is a registered trademark
of The New York Optimist.  The New York Optimist is a registered service mark of Thenewyorkoptimist.com. The New York Optimist logo
and original photos are a registered trademark of The New York Optimist  . All other photos are property of the advertiser. And are
rightfully protected under their copyright protections.
Facebook
Twitter
Stumble
You Tube
Digg It
SHARE
Interview with Michael Alan
The Living Installation
Mermaid in Progress
TNYO: Hello Michael Alan

Michael Alan: Hello

TNYO: Is that your Real name?

Michael Alan: Names and times are not real. Words. The last name of my family was changed, migration and
racism.  My family passed on by the time I was a young child and we were never able to find what my real last
name was.  So I go with my middle.  I do prefer Alien

TNYO: I have met you in person only once standing outside of
Raquel Echanique’s show, you surprised me.
After knowing you for some time now on Facebook and seeing your work and your network of friends I feel
like I know you a little better but I hope this interview may familiarize not only me but also others of who you
are and why you do what you do.
You are the very real representation of what I think an artist is.
Why do you paint?

Michael Alan: I if there is an I,  paints because it is my existence.  I if there is I, paints because life can't be
explained.  If there is I, Paints to touch as many people as possible. The I is dropped when the ego fades,
worlds beyond the ego create gateways.


TNYO: How long have you been making art?

Michael Alan: How long is life?

TNYO: What is a living installation?
Michael Alan: The Living Installation project is a human activist art mission. The main goal is reinforcing that
humans are living installations; it’s a challenging public, living work to put in words..... It’s not a play, gallery
show, theater show, party, dance. It is a entrance into another world, were the space is blank, and everything
is acted out, channeled and created live on the spot preformed to pre made music, models are turned into
living installations and many people come and get lost in the hypnotic off beat rhythm.


TNYO: How long have you been making living installations how did it start where did you do your first
installation?

Michael Alan:  The project has been going on for 8 years, in many forms. It started out of necessity, the need
of something artistic outside of the museum, gallery, and theater setting. I had the ability and a good friend
Odin, rip and Diana Gurfel that helped me get it off the ground.
TNYO: Where are you from?

Michael Alan: NYC KID!


TNYO: Would you say that your relentless in your approach to marketing your art work?

Michael Alan: Fuck marketing, im a driving force in letting people know art is alive.
TNYO: The art world can really suck.
So much talent and so many people out there that try to take advantage of the talented
Artists who mainly are more concerned with the creation of art then the business or politics behind selling it.
Whats your take on this?

Michael Alan: I can see, I can smell, I try and stay optimistic and know in my heart why I have dedicated my
life to making art and It is way beyond me.  I am here making art for the world and the world beyond that, all
the rest is just static.

TNYO: You recently were injured can you tell me what happened
and how its affected your art and your life?
Michael Alan: Well, to keep it short I was hit by a car after coming home from physical therapy,  
it broke my lower spine into my nerve canal; I have had a wild surgery and maybe more to come.
I also got a major concussion that created a fluid build up in my skull.
It affected me in every way, the way I walk, live.  Appreciate things, my mission...healing.... healing not just for
me but the understanding and trying to spread healing around me.

TNYO: Is there something else outside of being an artist that you would rather do? Perhaps a Scientist or
Marine Biologist'

Michael Alan: ...yes! I would like to be a professional giraffe caregiver!

TNYO: Do you believe in God and The Devil?
Michael Alan: I believe in love. "Love is the only" Kevin Maher
rip, a lil proverb from my best friend in High school.
Evil exists in the heart of men.........Art Art Art fuck the devil.

TNYO: Are these forces present present in your work?

Michael Alan: All forces are present in the work, its about living,
life, death, moving, change, the whole thing...BOOM!


TNYO: Where do you see yourself in Ten Years?

Michael Alan: Maybe alive?  I worry about us as a race of
people, if we can make it happen, live better, let go of fear and
hate and work with nature, then I will let you know  - for now -  I
can only live now.
TNYO: I noticed a photograph with you and Richard Gere selling art for a charity
What is the charity? / Did Richard buy your work?

Michael Alan:  
This is Art Walk...its every year, coalition for the homeless, he is the head of this show one of my
favorite actors. It sold to a collector.........we were just happy to raise the money!

TNYO: And will you be doing this charity event again?

Michael Alan: Just did another a week ago.

TNYO: What’s your favorite color?

Michael Alan:  Everyone

TNYO: You reside in SI after the hurricane it has sustained some horrific damage so many people lost so much,
did your house hold up, were you located in a major damage zone?
Michael Alan: I’m between places, but in S.I We lost part of my roof, power....I am taking care of my parents.
The damage here in Staten is out of control. People now are talking about this borrough finally some notice,
besides slander. I’m deeply saddened by all that has happened, and am donating work and doing drives to raise
food, just did a show about it at ABC and we raised some money and food....I want to do more, but physically I
am in a hard spot....

TNYO: Will this affect your work and if it does how will it shape
your next series of paintings and events.

Michael Alan: Yes, everything will, my gallery
Gasser Grunert was destroyed, and they are rebuilding. A bunch
of my works are being restored, and some destroyed. I will have to retouch them, and I think this is what it is all
about.... retouching...try not to block out, and coming back stronger.... can we get a train to Staten island? Its
like 5 min from the city, its a borough.........

TNYO:
I listened to some of your music recently its abstract and reflects your paintings and events in my
opinion can you tell me a little bit about it?
Michael Alan: Its sounds like the paintings.........the goal was to have fun and get something out to the world. I
love hearing an artist speak, or a lecture. Basquit and Keith Haring recordings...omg...and I got to do one with
my good friend Kenny Scharf.... that’s like mind blowing man, its saved on tape for life!

TNYO: is there a classification for the kind of art that you do, can you paint realism as easily as abstraction and
do you want to?

Michael Alan: Adolescent realism....{lol} I want to put it all on one nice piece of paper, canvas, live show, song,
sculpture.....I love all the styles smashed on top of each other, like 10 drunk men sleeping in a bank.

TNYO: Where did you go to school?

Michael Alan: Where didn't I go to school...I finished at the School of Visual Arts.

TNYO: Has it shaped you in any way?

Michael Alan:  It got me off the street corners and into a chair and table!
TNYO: do you like sports? Do you watch them

Michael Alan:  I like making paintings that look like games!

TNYO: On a scale of 1 - 10 how important are politics to you

Michael Alan......0.... its all a bunch of drama on T.V....Lies!...sales....man made crap.........Do what you can to
make this a better place, the system will always be corrupt, I can't listen to what some man in blue tells me to
do........ I am an art activist.


TNYO: What kind of paint do you use, where do you get your art supplies?

Michael Alan: Every type, mixing them is what makes the effect of change. They come from the sky!


TNYO: Do you show with a gallery or are you an independent artist?

Michael Alan:  Gasser Grunert....19th and 11th..Chelsea NY


TNYO: Michael there are so many things that I would like to know I could sit here and ask you questions all
night  
But relationships are part of a process of time and nurturing so I will ask you one last question and possibly pick
up where we left off at a future date. My last question is can you give me a good song for our readers to
groove on one that you groove on that you groove on as well'
Michael Alan: The new Ariel Pink album, is the best album of the year......proud
to have worked with him!
From a line drawing to a slightly muted work to a more colorful work to a collaged, layered piece, then bring the
work to the public, construct it live on my friends, take the Living Installation, de-install it and drag it back to my
studio and rework it into my next painting.
Everything is happening at the same time. I ride that current, the tornado, the space in between, grabbing
everything and rearranging it. Dissecting, amplifying, sampling, exploding, fading, layering and subtracting. My
drawings on top of my drawings inside my paintings, chopped into pieces, living collapsing time. I explore
spaces that walk along the edge of the figure, the abstract and the next moment. I use the surfaces as an
emotional reader to document these intangible realities in a constant changing image. Some of the spaces are
completely pushed to the extreme, and some parts loop, so you can reconstruct it’s creation in your mind.

I work in 5 levels like a gray scale or the variations of tempos on a music album. From a line drawing to a
slightly muted drawing to a more colorful denser work, to a collaged, multi-media layered painting, I then bring
the work to the public, construct it live on my friends, and finally, take this Living Installation, de-install it and
drag it back to my studio and rework the scraps, the photos, the energy of it into the next piece. This is my full
circle, there is no order to the circle, which leaves me constantly open. The work is about energy, and drawing
from the world, on the world, on people, and then taking parts that had humans activating the work, and
reworking them into a new piece. The work in one sense is continuous. A show goes up, comes down, a circle
goes round and round.
BIO
“I am Michael Alien, an alien who wants good and to exist with a twist of chaos and a big splash of toxic paint!”— Art Info

For Michael Alan, art is a combination of harmonious opposites, close observation, catharsis, a means of communication and a radical juxtaposition of
dimensional elements. He challenges everything: concepts of figure, composition, media and movement, including his own. Exploring the ambiguity of time
and history, Alan’s work focuses on crossbreeding and the relationship of destruction and creation.

Alan was born in the summer of 1977, during the New York City blackout. His work has been featured in 7 New York solo shows and over 200 group shows.
His work has been discussed in over 200 publications, books and media sources, including the New York Times, The Huffington Post, Bomb Magazine, Art
21,  NBC’s Today Show, Marie Claire Italia, Art+Auction, the New York Post, Fox Channel 5, the Village Voice’s “Best in Show”, Time Out New York, Vice,  
American Artist, Animal, Hyperallergic, Curbs and Stoops,  Cacao and many more.

In addition to his work as a Multi-media artist, Michael is the founder and director of the Living Installation, where human beings are transformed into unique,
living art objects.

Selected Timeline
SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2012 Working With Injury,Gasser Grunert, New York, NY
2012 Private Viewing & VIP Art Fair, Gasser Grunert, New York, NY

2011 Collapsible Anatomy, Gasser Grunert, New York, NY
2011 Continual DNA, Yes Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2010 Blurred/Reformed/Dissected,Eastern District, Brooklyn, NY
2010 Harmonious Opposites,Gasser Grunert, New York, NY
2009 Artist Factory, The Chelsea Art Museum, New York, NY
2008 Tea Party, Jack the Pelican Presents, Brooklyn, NY
2008 A Thing; McCaig & Welles Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2006 Chronic Time Exaggerator; Greene Street Gallery, New York, NY
2004 Visual Discoveries,KMG Gallery, New York, NY

GROUP SHOWS

2012 The Drawing Center, 16th annual Benefit, Haunch of Venison
2012 ArtWalk NY 18, Benefitting the Coalition for the Homeless, New York, NY
2012 The Bunker,Miami Art Fair, Miami FL
2011 Dead in August,Pentagon, Brooklyn, NY
2011 Make Skateboards, i20 Gallery, New York, NY
2011 Wellington Court Project, presented by Ad Hoc Gallery, Queens, NY
2011 Art Los Angeles Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA
2011 Warhol Factory Legacy, featured video art, New York, NY
2011 Michael Alan at Paul Klebnikov; fundraiser with Paul Kasmin Gallery, NYC, NY
2011 Flash: Light NYC,New Museum, New York, NY
2011 ArtWalk NY 17 Benefitting the Coalition for the Homeless, New York, NY
2011 Mantamed Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2011 Strong Line; Prince Gallery, New York, NY
2011 CSDC Brooklyn Art Project, Brooklyn NY
2011 The Young Artists Program, Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY
2010 ArtWalk NY 16 Benefitting the Coalition for the Homeless, New York, NY
2010 Exquisite Corpse, Gasser Grunert, New York, NY
2009 ArtWalk NY 15 Benefitting the Coalition for the Homeless, New York, NY
2009 Pool Art Fair, New York, NY
2009 Art Basel Miami, Ad Hoc Gallery, Miami, FL
2009 10 x 10 Decade-End; Whitebox Art Gallery, New York, NY
2009 Object Affection, BOFFO Arts, Brooklyn, NY
2009 Kenny Scharf & !Muffinhead Present, SuperWow!; Brooklyn, NY
2009 The Body Politic, Brooklyn Arts Council, Brooklyn, NY
2008 Fresh Produce,Gallery Anno Domino, San Jose, CA
2008 Art With An Edge, London, England
2008 Emergence Installation, Governors Island, NY
2008 Black Rocks Art Foundation, Emergence Project, New York, NY
2007 Exhibitionists Both, Jonathon Shorr Gallery, New York, NY
2007 Bridge Art Fair, McCaig & Welles Gallery, Miami, FL
2006 Give Me Head, Ad Hoc Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

PERFORMANCE
2012 We Are All Living Installations; DUMBO Arts Center, Brooklyn, NY
2012 Dinner Party for Two; Franklin Street Studio, NYC, NY
2012 Live Performance with Japanther; Shea Stadium, Queens NY
2011 Where the Wild Things Are; Kenny Scharf’s Cosmic Cavern, Brooklyn, NY
2011 Make-a-Davey; Kenny Scharf’s Cosmic Cavern, Brooklyn, NY
2011 Body Issues; Bushwick Project for the Arts, Brooklyn, NY
2010 Cleaning the Clouds; Gasser Grunert, New York, NY
2010 Bodies, Paint & Creation; w. Kenny Scharf, the Cosmic Cavern, Brooklyn, NY
2010 Hansel & Gretel; the Gershwin Hotel, New York, NY
2010 Tent City; ABC No Rio, New York, NY
2010 Human Fish Tank w. Kenny Scharf; the Cosmic Cavern, Brooklyn, NY
2009 Artist Factory (performance); The Chelsea Art Museum, New York, NY
2009 Bunny in Barcelona, w. NonGrata; Barcelona, Spain
2008 Drawathon Theater Protests; Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum, New York, NY
2008 Artist-in-Residence, Teatro IATI, New York, NY

MUSIC/VIDEO
2012 Painting Life; (Releasing October 2012)
2012 Michael Alan Alien
2012 Turning A Negative Into A Positive,  w/ Odd Nosdam; video
2012 What Would Jello Do? w/ Jello Biafra; video
2012 Vogue, collaborative project featuring Japanther & Raymond Pettibon
2012 Flavorpill mp3 premier

PRESS & MEDIA COVERAGE
2012 East Village Radio: Interview 9.25.2012
2012 New York Is Now; feature documentary, Noah Becker, director
2012 Performing Life, Living Art; Huffington Post, 7.13.12
2012 Here’s Why Ariel Pink, Odd Nosdam, Jello Biafra, And Japanther All Make
Music With Michael Alan,The Creator’s Project (blog)
2012 The Living Art and Sounds of Michael Alan; CRUDO (blog)
2012 Michael Alan’s New Musical Posse; Animal (blog)
2012 La performance di Michael Alan nel Lower East Side; Marie Clare Italia
2012 Creating a Visual Language: The Art of Michael Alan; Art 21
2012 The Necessity of Creation; Cacao Magazine
2012 Ariel Pink Unearths Old Works and Collaborates With Michael Alan; Ad Hoc (blog)
2012 Beyond Tradition; American Artist Magazine
2012 Interview with Michael Alan; Bushwick Daily
2012 Studio Session; Milk Magazine
2012 Michael Alan & Ariel Pink Exclusive; Mutant Sounds
2011 The Art of Michael Alan; Gothamist
2011 Featured Artist; Soho News Journal
2011 Continual DNA at Yes Gallery; Artinfo
2011 Finding Where the Wild Things Are in a Brooklyn Basement; Hyperallergic (blog)
2011 The Introduction of Michael Alan; PMc (blog)
2011 Art, Art, Art, Fuck the Devil…’ Q & A with NY Artonaut Michael Alan; Muffinhead (blog)
2011 Michael Alan x Gasser/Grunert; Curbs and Stoops
2011 We Are Many Things; Cacao Magazine
2011 Michael Alan; Times Square, Yes! Gallery, New York, NY
2010 Arts in Bushwick; The Economist, More Intelligent Life
2010 Alec Baldwin and Richard Gere at ArtWalk 16; Art Info
2010 Best in Show;The Village Voice, featured artist/exhibition
2010 Cloudy with a Chance of Art; Art + Auction/In the Air
2010 Exhibition by Michael Alan; Patrick McMullan, PMc (blog)
2010 Happy Happening; Marie Claire Italia
2010 Michael Alan’s Living Installation at the Cosmic Cavern; The Village Voice
2009 Portrait of an Artist; NBC New York Non-Stop
2009 Michael Alan’s New York; Time Out New York
2009 Life As A Runway Draw-A-Thon Theatre; The New York Times
2009 Artists Poised to Take Over Gershwin Hotel; Animal NY
2008 Interview; Daily Du Jour Art & Culture Exchange
2008 Governors Island Art Show; ABC NEWS
2008 Art on Governors Island: Michael Alan; Gothamist
2008 Osculating Inspirations; Pendulum
2008 Draw A Thing at McCaig & Welles; Time Out New York
2008 Lewd Descending a Staircase; New York Observer

HONORS & TEACHING
2009 Instructor, International Summer Program, S.V.A, New York, NY
2008 Brooklyn Arts Council Regrant: The Life & Death of Draw-a-thon, Pochron Studios, Brooklyn, NY
2005 Designer of the Month, Flavorpill.com
2003 Pratt Juried MFA Exhibition, First Prize, sponsored by Golden Artist Colors
2000 New York Academy of Art Scholarship
1998 “Golden Lollipop” for most original student, S.V.A., New York, NY

SELECTED COLLECTIONS
Raymond Pettibon, Jillian Michaels, Kenny Scharf, Duncan Reid, White Box Art Gallery, the Chelsea Art Museum, Meaghan Kent & Cary Whittier, James
Hendershot, Marc Brown, Ethan Cohen, Federico Solmi, Brian Carr, Alexandra Kau, Brian Copp, Don Carroll, Apryl Miller, Dr. Anthony Zito, Dr. Richard
Lacey, Diana Gurfel, Walter Brandes, Sarah Detweiler, Peggy Tranovich, Nigel Wood, Albert Weaver, Emily Colluci, Michael Andrescavage, Brandon
Haynes, Gordon Austin, Fabienne Wilmes, Emmanuel Moyne, Jennifer Pastore, Rehan yar Khan, George Marengo, Dustin Adamstein, Japanther, Renaldo,
Joe Rugillio, Dr. Mark Eichenbaum, Georgia Nimer.

EDUCATION
Pratt Institute Masters Program, Brooklyn, NY 2002-2004
School of Visual Arts, B.F.A., New York, NY 1996-2000
2012 Working With Injury; Gasser Grunert, New York, NY
2012 Private Viewing & VIP Art Fair, Gasser Grunert, New York, NY
2012 The Drawing Center, NYC NY
2011 Collapsible Anatomy; Gasser Grunert, New York, NY
2011 Continual DNA; Yes Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2010 Blurred/Reformed/Dissected; Eastern District, Brooklyn, NY
2010 Harmonious Opposites; Gasser Grunert, New York, NY
2009 Artist Factory; The Chelsea Art Museum, New York, NY
2008 Tea Party; Jack the Pelican Presents, Brooklyn, NY
2008 A Thing; McCaig & Welles Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2006 Chronic Time Exaggerator; Greene Street Gallery, New York, NY
2004 Visual Discoveries; KMG Gallery, New York, NY
© 2012 Michael Alan
Photos Credit
Joseph Meloy and Garry Boake
George Marengo All Rights
Reserved ©
Banana Split, 2012, everything on
Rose Lou photo by Joseph Meloy
Micohael Alan  and Nick
Greenwald, Jennifer
Mills resting in hell—
A still from Were The Wild Things Are
At Kenny Scharf's fabulous Cosmic Cavern
In this photo Michael Alan
Photo by Mark DeMaio
Photos by Garry Garry E Boake
Vampire Circus / The wedding
ft Suzie Q Arango
American Me, photo by Garry E Boake
Sculpture/person.....We are living Installations
2009 — Photo By Dan Perico at BOFFO.
R.I.P Dave 1
Dinner party at my place, ft Kim De'ville
and David Modello photo by Joseph
Meloy Meloy .
Deep in the abyss, the whole
stage moved with me, it was a war.
— with Bat Saint Chip,  Photo By
Alex Gryger, John Holly, David
Modello and Michelle Woo at
Dumbo Arts Center.
Be careful what you wish for. You might actually look and move like
what you draw. — at Dumbo Arts Center.
average day chillen with
the homies, before we go
do a drive-bye — with  
David Modello, Kendra
Warmolts and Michael Alan
How to include your dad in
your art! — Michael Alan
and his dad. Photo by
Joseph Meloy
In love with the un-modern world — with
Allene La Spina Michael Alan and
Leah Yerpe
Shit white, one night at my old studio
on Franklin in downtown....fun....wild...
fun — with David Modello, Kim De'ville
Photo By Michael Alan
Gasser Tanja Grunert Gallery.
photo by Joseph Meloy  -With
Michael Alan and  Rose Lou at
Klemens Gasser & Tanja
Grunert, Inc.
Slow Heal
photo by Joseph Meloy Meloy
Photos by Worm Carnevale
From  Vampire Circus/ The
wedding
ft Suzie Q Arango Tim Lee
A still, from the V.I.P art fair at the Dumbo ArtsCenter
Photo by Alex Gryger — FT. David Modello and Michael
Alan
Photo by.  ZeShan Malik at  ABC No Rio.
It is me 2007 — with Diana Gurfel in
New York.
The World According To Gart, 9 x 11, 2009 — in New York.
(c)Cary Whittier All
Rights Reserved
Install shots of
Collapsible Anatomy
Gasser Grunert
Tri-polor-14 x 16- all mediums on paper
Part of the Churchill collection — with Brooke Churchill in New York.
Head of Glo
Made for the Cosmic Cavern 2011
Beaware_9x11_every-thing on paper 2011 — in New York.
Make, Love this one — in New York.
Occupy Yourself, 30 x 40, pen, ink, paint, cutup parts of my work on paper, 2011 — with John Kres in New York.
Photo shoot by JJ! at the
studio — with Jj Jimenez in
New York.