convo: michael alan (nyc)

I think I got tired of the Internet, the down art vibes, the disconnect in society, the focus on negativity, the unfocus of the future of our planet.

We’ve had the pleasure of getting to know New York born and based artist Michael Alan for some time now, and revel in the ability to watch his work grow—taking visual chances and working through various themes. While his work still remains very true to his artistic style, the new pieces that he’s been inspired to make deviate a bit from the Michael Alan you may be familiar with. So, naturally we had to sit him down for a little chat.

Left Bank: What made you want to explore themes of nature in your art?

I grew up making drawings and painting everyone and on everything in NY. I did nature in life, nature in humanity but never like the works now. I think I got tired of the Internet, the down art vibes, the disconnect in society, the focus on negativity, the unfocus of the future of our planet. I felt the news was just too much drama and I simply wanted to make something opposite the times and trends. Nature paintings are very “typical” the way I made these were a continued language of my NYC line.

For me it’s more of a call to positivity now, the work I’m known for is not this, so in short I wanted to create something beautiful so we can step back from all the gloom. Nature is one the best part of our human lives and it’s in need of our care and attention

Michael Alan

Are you hoping that these pieces will make a statement and if so what?

I hope people feel some peace some ease from their lives. Maybe think back to painters painting old times like Van Gogh, think back to what it was like to be an artist before now. When we loved nature, versus the next sad news. They also work as a call to attention to what’s important.

Let’s talk about peace, what does it mean to you?

Peace to me means self peace, doing your best to stand for something even if it’s not everyone’s cup of Joe. Peace is a journey and harder than war. [It’s] accepting nature, life and death … [it’s about] being open to other ideas. Being in tune to the source.

What would make these pieces successful to you?

Nothing, just the act of making them. My soul is making them to “make them” as a part of a body of work, as an act of creating the lasting moving flower.

Anything else happening this year that you have coming up or are looking forward to?

Honestly there is so much, I don’t like to plug a specific thing. I’m more into plugging the constant persist into activism and creation.

We have a living installation coming up March 21st. I think keeping that NYC punk project going is great, as it’s a done for the act of just that. (Details at @thelivinginstallation)

Does the political climate affect your art?

I hate politics, they’re corrupt, and they don’t care about you. I believe in being the best human you can be and if you mess up, get up and try again. Work on yourself, help others. Stand up. These nature paintings are my reaction to political horror.

Do you find yourself more inspired or less, compared to other times in your personal art history?

It’s constantly constant. Since a child to now, nothing stopped me, even when I spent years in the hospital—sick or thriving, poor or paid, it’s just my calling to make work. I make the best work I can, then wake up to make the next best work I can.

Continue to stay inspired by one of our favorite artists on social media at @michaelalanalien and @thelivinginstallation, and by visiting his website View select pieces at Woodward Gallery, information at their website.