Good Butter, oil on panel, 24×46
Look, oil on paper, 27×21
What A Fox, Oil on panel, 48×72
Log, Intaglio print, 48×48
Mud, drypoint and chincole print, 22×30
I met Mike a few years ago at an opening for a show he and good friend Andy Rihn put together at Okay Mountain here in Austin, Texas. The first thing I saw upon arriving at the gallery was a frantic Andy Rihn running around filling up old popcorn machines with kernels which were then spilling popcorn all over a full size mannequin that had been fashioned into a Kangaroo/humanoid creature. The kangaroo was wearing boxing gloves and appeared to be covered in Andy’s pubic hair. At this point I’d known Andy for some time, so it didn’t seem that bizarre to me, but I had never seen Mike’s work before.
The gallery was full of these incredibly colorful paintings, stylized in a familiar, but unique way and full of weird little details. Now that I think about it, it was probably the best show of paintings I’ve seen in Austin. Mike has an expert way of filling space, whether it’s canvas, wood, paper or a fan girl’s boobs. He does it so well that I’ve found myself staring at his work for ungodly amounts of time and then realized I hadn’t even noticed the beaver he had painted over a woman’s crotch until someone else began pointing and laughing at it. It’s fun work, executed perfectly.
Somehow shortly after being introduced at the show, Mike and I got sent on a beer-run together and we’ve been buds ever since. He lives here in Austin with his amazing wife, Chrissy and their two sons, Otto and Simon. When I asked him if there was anything he wanted to say about his art he replied with, “Mike’s art confuses the viewer and himself.” Enjoy