Monday, June 04, 2007

Artist Profile: Michael McMillen

I might have to say that Michael McMillen is one of the artists I have enjoyed working with the most. Not only is his art right up my alley but he is a real nice guy. There are so many sites for Michael that each time you click on his name it will take you to a different link and I hope you click on to them because he and his work are fascinating. When you see his installations you will know why I love his work so much. When I worked at Wasserman Silkscreen we printed both of these prints and I'm glad they are part of my collection. The 1st one "Mojave Desert" is a take on those old magazines from the past where a giant skull is found in the desert. If you notice there are a few different chops or marks on this print, sometimes artists incorporate chops (embossing) and ink imprints/stamps of insects, hieroglyphics and symbols that have meaning to the artist. I have worked with a few artists that incorporate these chops and of course we used an embossed W chop on all of the prints that are printed at Wasserman's shop. It usually is near the artists signature. The other print is a throwback to times gone by. A collage of the past. A ticket to the POP Pacific Ocean Park (a nautical-themed amusement park in Santa Monica circa 1958-1967) , a few old comics, a mezzo tint, crossword puzzle, a UFO sighting. Michael is from California, born in Echo Park in 1946, he uses references of life here and from his past. When I worked with Jeff Wasserman he took me and the boys to an installation by Michael at LACMA. It was an old garage totally reproduced down to the lighting the smells, and sounds. All of the things that represent a garage from our youth. I bet as you are reading this you can recall a garage in your life that left an impression on you, the tools, wood shavings, wood, paint, varnish, nails, screws, the smells, you know what I mean? Well he actually created a real garage with all the nuances, you can't even begin to imagine and it was one of the greatest things I have ever seen. It was a sight to behold right there in the museum! Michael's "Red Trailer Motel" is like going to a decrepit old motel out in the desert and it seems so real. Architecture is the main thrust but it's so much more than that. I hope you check out his art and I have included a comprehensive interview of the artist here.
Comments are most appreciated.


Ces said...

I read this post yesterday and followed the links. I am amazed at the sight of the Red Trailer Motel. This is what makes art fascinating. Each artist interprets the world around her/him. We are so used to the traditional forms of art: painting, sculptures, murals, and the like that we sometimes overlook other expressions that reveal artistry and creativity.

String said...

Cool art, I see what you mean!