I was born just over the Texas border in Eastern New Mexico. I wore cowboy boots, went to rodeos and listened to Marty Robbins, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton, and many other long loved 1970's country artists. I moved to Southern California at 9, and started seeing live bands in Hollywood by 13. My own first band was called Masochist, because that was the most heavy metal sounding name a 14-year-old kid could think of.
There were many other bands after that: goth rock December Flowers, fast and furious psychobilly Devil, a marriage of the two in gothabilly Jeepers Creepers and a two-piece art music project called The Quartering Sea. I enjoyed creating a conceptual identity for bands as much as I loved rehearsing and playing- executing all art in our posters, flyers and ads.
I started going by the name of Michael Michael Motorcycle around this time. Like many other Michaels, kids called me this nickname since kindergarten. I decided it would be funny to take ownership of the name and use it for my professional identity. After ceasing contact with my abusive family, I wanted to use a name without family association- distancing myself from unpleasant memories. The name stuck and I decided to keep using it throughout my art career.
Making art for my own bands set me on a path to making art for others. I started screen-printing posters for bands and festivals in my one car garage back in the early 2000’s. My first client was the legendary LA indie promotion team “Goldenvoice Presents.” I also made posters for the Hollywood Bowl, the UK based festival, “All Tomorrow's Parties” and other venues across the U.S.
My Art Today
In the early 2010’s I moved to the east coast to attend the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)’s oil painting program, and then bought a little bungalow in New Jersey just outside Manhattan to participate in the area’s art community.
I developed an artistic language partly inspired by the Thematic Apperception Test -an assessment developed to understand patients by their “responses, in the narratives they make up about ambiguous pictures of people, revealing their underlying motives, concerns, and the way they see the social world.“.
My primary intent is for the viewer contemplate the past, present, and future of the image that is depicted. I also like to incorporate two seemingly disparate scenes into one painting. I’d like the viewer to consider the relationship between the two images and identify a potential conversation. I believe this method of contemplation will lead the viewer to discover a meaningful connection to events which impact humans and other animals. Additionally, I hope the viewer might relate their own experiences of grief, isolation, and despair.
A few of my artistic inspirations, are: Justin Mortimer, Adrian Ghenie, Vincent Desiderio, Antonio Lopez Garcia, Rackstraw Downs, Edwin Dickinson, Neo Rauch, Lennart Anderson,
Eduard Manet, Edgar Degas, Diego Velasquez and finally, my painting instructor from PAFA, Scott Noel, who taught me what painting “is”.
When not painting, I spend my time riding a motorcycle along the back roads of the Garden State, writing music, hanging with my cats outside, gardening, restoring my Craftsman bungalow, and going down the shore to Asbury Park with my wife Elyse.
2012 Gallery 309, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2008 All Tomorrow's Parties Gallery, Minehead, United Kingdom
2007 Mr. Musichead Gallery, Los Angeles CA
2007 Valentine’s Day, Standard Hotel Gallery, Los Angeles, California
Group Exhibitions/Art Fairs
2020 14 Art Fair, Jersey City, New Jersey
2014 Tiny Trifecta, Cotton Candy Machine, Brooklyn, New York
2013 Tetrachromatic, Arch Enemy Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2013 Small Wonders, Arch Enemy Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2013, Tiny Trifecta, Cotton Candy Machine, Brooklyn, New York
2013 Semiotic Weapons, Arch Enemy Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2013 Perpeteia ll, Skylight Gallery, New York, New York
2013 Gift Wrapped, Clutter Magazine Gallery, Beacon, New York
2013 Allegorical Quartet, Cotton Candy Machine, Brooklyn, New York
2012 Tiny Trifecta, Cotton Candy Machine, Brooklyn, New York
2012 Lucha Libre, Rotofugi, Chicago, Illinois
2011 Tiny Trifecta, Cotton Candy Machine, Brooklyn, New York
2011 Rock It To Me, Cotton Candy Machine, Brooklyn, New York
2011 Friends of the Beast, Oh No Doom, Chicago, Illinois
2011 Autumn Spell, Gallery 309, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2010 Tiny Trifecta, Cotton Candy Machine, Brooklyn, New York
2009 Graphic Beauty, Contemporary Rock Posters , Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, Michigan
2009 Bluestone Rock Art Gallery, Ohio
2007 Pop Surrealism, Oklahoma City Arts Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
2007 Delta Axis, Marshall Arts Exhibition, Agents of Timbre, Memphis, Tennessee
2006 Wootini, Carrboro, North Carolina
2006 Subscreensonic, Brighton Fringe Arts, Brighton, United Kingdom
2006 Kidrobot, Gallery 1988 Los Angeles, California
2006 Gigposter Exhibition, John Galt Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
2005 The MUNNY Show, Rec Center Studio, Los Angeles, California
2005 Munky King, Los Angeles, California
2005 Kidrobot, New York, New York
2005 Graphic Noise Exhibition, Museum of Design Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia
2005 Art of Modern Rock, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio
2004 Mundo Gigantico del Rock, Roq La Rue, Seattle
2004 Art of Musical Maintenance, Portland Oregon
Rock Poster Art, (Eyrolles, 2013)
Rock Paper Show (Soundscreen Design 2010)
El Fanzine Magazine, (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
Juxtapoz Back Talk (July 18th 2009)
Gigposters:Volume 1 (Quirk 2009)
Juxtapoz Poster Art (Ginko 2008)
Fine Art Magazine, Rock and Roll Art, (March 2008)
Screenprinting Magazine (Summer 2007)
Redefine Magazine (Winter 2007)
Fleshrot Comics (Frightworld Studios 2007)
Chicago Magazine (May 2007)
Darkening Garden (Payseur and Schmidt 2006)
Swag 2 (Harry Abrams 2005)
Panda Meat (Last Gasp 2005)
Art of Modern Rock (Chronicle, 2004)
Destroy All Monthly Magazine