In my heart, I am an artist who is compelled to tell a story. The storyline will often become apparent only once I have begun developing an image. But there are common themes throughout the images. These themes include the use or misuse of power, the human environment, and love.
The theme of love and romance is a common subject in my art. As long as I can remember, I have wanted to live with someone whose heart compliments my passion for romance. I find it wonderful that my partner feels this way too.
Power and the exploitation of the defenseless are also frequent themes in my stories. As a survivor of child abuse, I am haunted by the circumstances that create monstrous abuses of power. I also regularly use the image of blood in my art. It usually represents grief or a life force. Sometimes both.
I think about the planet and the way our civilization uses its resources. This concern is exhibited in my art through images of wilderness, cityscapes, progress, nature, and technology. I hope humans will learn from the mistakes resulting from the industrial era, and I look forward to the advances of technology in light of learning from the past.
I want to communicate in my art this embrace for the new technological age, but also a hope that we can move forward while cautiously considering the long-term effects of progress. For example, my 2007 poster series included characters I call the Star People: representations of a world before the industrial revolution.
I was reading a biography on Henry Ford at the time of their first appearance, where I depicted the Star People pleading for technology to slow down. But Henry Ford’s racecar, (a metaphor for how fast technology began moving) speeds on. This poster initiated the series I made throughout that year with a constant thread of blood, a metaphor for the sadness of the earth’s lost resources, moving through characters and technological advances, through the forest and into the cityscapes. This theme continues throughout my current work as well.
All of the themes I describe are supported by many sources of inspiration. I fill my studio with animal skulls, beautiful bugs, musical instruments, art noveau, art deco, French pochoir prints, fashion magazines, and art and design from the renaissance to the present day. I have a constant hunger for all music and am always looking for new albums to fill my iPod with. All of this excites me to paint, print, and draw.
Ultimately, I hope my art will ask people to be thoughtful about their decisions and the impact these decisions have on others. Beyond that, though, I make art in hopes that people will connect with my own feelings. It helps me to know that there are other people out there like me.
Designed Toy Releases
Toy Series Participation
These are toys Michael has lent his design skills to.
These are one-off pieces by Michael.
- Piece(s) for Tiny Trifecta, 2014
- Piece(s) for Tiny Trifecta, 2013
- Piece(s) for Gift Wrapped, 2013
- Piece(s) for Tiny Trifecta, 2012
- Piece(s) for Lucha Libre, 2012
- Piece(s) for Tiny Trifecta, 2011
- Mad L - 10" custom for the MadL Citizens show, 2008
- BUD - 9" custom for This BUD's For You, 2008
- Munny - custom for Munny Show LA, 2005
- Funny Club - 4" custom for The Funny Club Show, 2005