Michael Alan, a.k.a. Michael Alan Alien, is a native New York City progressive multi-versatile artist, immersed in the fine art world, the underground street art movement, and creating ongoing performance art. Alien’s process of creation combines all three genres into a greater energetic whole. Artwork in progress is taken out onto the street, trains, and wherever Alien goes, absorbing, observing and channeling the energy of the city. The work is deeply philosophical and created in a meditative process of being in the moment and on the spot. Impressions of fragments of energy are melded into dynamic art that moves and pulsates with the energy of life. Alien reflects upon the universe and turns it into art. This signature style has developed since childhood, an outcome of trying to understand life, and that process continues to develop. Alien is a poetic documenter and an energy reader in the visual sense.
The fine artwork is a juxtaposition of harmonious opposites, produced by deep contemplation upon the origins and meaning of existence, yet fits into a narrative, complex world. Informed by the quick, gestural energy of street art and enhanced by fine details and a masterful use of color, Alien ties it all together with signature linework and a hallucinatory visual language built on codes, marks, overlays, gestures, lettering, and embedded visual elements. The technique involves using extremely fine tip pens, watercolor, spray paint, oil, pastels, pencils, ink, markers, and his own drawings used as collage. The work has been exhibited in over 30 solo exhibitions and has been collected by galleries and museums, celebrities, and institutions worldwide.
The visual art is brought into the third dimension as Michael Alan creates wild, genre defying performances with his partner Jadda Cat. This ongoing performance art project “The Living Installation” transforms humans into unique living art objects, in galleries, on the streets, at iconic locations around the city, or at private spaces, often improvisational, fueled by the energy of their surroundings.
Alien has been conducting an anonymous iconic street art campaign for 33 years, painting purely for the act of painting rather than for the ego. It is true, raw, and punk in nature and exists for itself, and for the energy it feeds into the totality of Alien’s art.
Michael Alan Alien was born in Bushwick, Brooklyn on the night of the great blackout and riot of 1977, foreshadowing future experiences witnessing all the chaos the city had to offer. Alien’s family had to move from borough to borough, facing the ongoing harsh realities of gentrification. A rough life, experiencing class inequality day to day, and working with disability helped develop his artistic toolbox.
Alien came to culture early, running events and clubs around the city from the young age of 16 in the early ’90s, making close ties with street artists, legends, rappers, punk bands, and people from all walks of life, which has continued to this day. Alien ran shows at the Palladium, Club Expo, Sound Factory, Remote Lounge, The Pyramid Club, Michael Alan’s Playhouse. Alien drew everywhere, even at the clubs, which led the work to get noticed and show at major galleries in Chelsea and worldwide.
Alien’s work advocates for constant creativity, disability and mental health awareness, equality, and acceptance. Alien maintains a rigorous work ethic despite enduring multiple medical conditions and disabilities. The artist has a deep passion for carrying the energy of old New York forward while simultaneously inventing new ways to create and install ways for the viewer to experience. The work fights for authentic experience and human connection as it asks you to slow down and zoom into paintings within paintings within paintings. Alien’s lifestyle brings the three-part circus into a full picture by painting daily everywhere he goes, alongside life partner and muse Jadda Cat, both in their hand-painted clothing and as a living work.
The work has been discussed in over 600 publications, books, and media sources, including the New York Times film and print, Vice, NBC’s Today Show, the New York Post, American Artist, Art 21, Art Forum, Art+Auction, GQ, Architectural Digest, Vogue, Marie Claire Italia, ArtNet News,The Huffington Post, Bomb Magazine, Frank 151, the Village Voice’s “Best in Show”, The Creator’s Project, The Gothamist, Time Out New York, Frame, Animal, Hyperallergic, Curbs and Stoops, Bust, NY Art News, FAD and many more.
In addition to work as a multimedia artist, Michael Alan Alien’s original music, which is recorded featuring artists such as MF Grimm, Arron Dilloway, Kenny Scharf, Tim “Love” Lee, Alien’s mom and dad, The Krays, Jello Biafra, The Residents, Tommy Ramone, Meredith Monk, The Boredoms, Ramsey Jones, Geneva Jacuzzi, Satellite Jones and so many more.