Editor’s Foreword |
About the Michael Alan Alien Featured Artist Interview
The Space Cadet Science Fiction Review is honored that Michael Alan Alien agreed to do an interview for this magazine and to provide the perfectly amazing Green Guy as the cover art!
Enjoy the interview. It is both comprehensive and insightful. The fact that Michael somehow managed to squeeze time from his hectically busy schedule to complete an interview for the debut issue of this upstart literary magazine probably says as much about him as anything else.
During the time that it took Michael and I to complete this interview, his already super successful art career became even more so. Michael’s been established for a very long time now, so this was nothing new for him, but it simply boggled my mind. Multiple big-name actors, a well-known band, and the Tate bought his work. MoMA, galleries, and shows galore from NYC to Amsterdam to Paris. Multiple international magazine reviews and interviews. An interview with Rain Phoenix on the LaunchLeft podcast. A short documentary was filmed about him. He was offered an acting role in a big Netflix show. Three books about his art are in the works. In addition to various activities for good causes, he and his partner in art Jadda Cat put on a successful anti-war show protesting the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which raised funds for humanitarian aid there. And finally, a big promotion and NFT drop on OpenSea which has done incredibly well, with every piece selling. It was all very exciting to see.
The NFT drop influenced which images were provided by Michael and his team to this publication. I had requested images of certain works of art to include with the interview that I felt best represented a science fiction theme and vibe. Though I didn’t get those, I am absolutely overjoyed to present to you amazing work, some of it newly created this year, that gorgeously defines Michael’s line and energy. The work is vibrant and perfect Michael Alan Alien art. But most importantly, I got the Green Guy for the cover! Everything for this debut issue was built around that piece and it was the only image that we had specifically agreed upon using for the magazine. In fact, the Green Guy was the catalyst for so much of this magazine that in a sense the piece actually became a presence in my mind, helping me to both focus on the work and to keep the work focused in achieving the desired outcome: from the interview with Michael, to the near mania that gripped me in wanting to produce a literary magazine that was everything I’d envisioned it could be. I am so happy and honored to have him on the cover. He represents beautifully what I describe to be Michael’s science fiction art. The Green Guy is the vibe. A green alien, a Martian, dematerializing or rematerializing before our very eyes as though he were beaming up to the Star Trek transporter room, or perhaps more accurately, beaming down to planet Earth.
Michael and his art are born of NYC. They are NYC. And by some extension, I am as well. My mother was born and raised in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens (the Irish on my father’s side have very deep NYC roots but had long-since moved to Connecticut), literally right across the street from Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, which was home to the 1939-40 and 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. I fondly remember visiting the big Italian family there during the years of my childhood and youth, exploring those utterly surreal fairgrounds. I felt something like a xenoarchaeologist cataloging the relics of an alien civilization – amidst it all, there was even an enclosure with wolves! It was really quite amazing and seemed as though I were on the set of a science fiction movie.
So, to have Michael on board for the debut issue of this magazine is very special for me. That his art is a manifestation of the pure energy and vibe of NYC, is simply sublime.
For the interview, I asked for a photo of Michael with his mother because I was genuinely impressed by the way in which he takes care of his mom and actively includes her in as many aspects of his whole world of art that he can. She helps to run his art studio and the tours of it, goes out painting with him sometimes, and so on. It’s not every day that you see that, though it certainly should be.
This interview took a while to complete as revisions went back and forth, all within the context of Michael’s aforementioned schedule. During that time, I deeply immersed myself in his art and feel that I have a better understanding of his work now, beyond its obvious and immediate visual impact. Time has allowed for a more comprehensive education in his art.
The “LINE,” as Michael mentions in the interview is everything, the line is the defining characteristic of Michael’s art that distinguishes it from all other art. The line is his signature. It is his art. I had perhaps understood that intuitively but not in the way that I do now. My understanding has evolved in the matter. That line is energy, electricity, it is the element that makes his art so wildly unique and that transmogrifies everything in his life into the art that he creates. His art is energy, fueled by and representing the energy of NYC. The line, that line, is energy, his art, its essence and its very nature. The magnificent line! It is visual alchemy. And the pointillism is plasmic energy! I came to realize that he really does see the energy, the electricity of life and of this world. He’s the Tesla of art, Westinghouse with a paintbrush, an Edison of paint, a Louis Wain of the life electric — who paints the occasional cat, too. It was an epiphany that I wanted to share. Additionally, the authentic, organic composition of what Michael completes by hand would be impossible for generative art to replicate – and his work is even more complex due to the spontaneous interplay of creative chaos and coherence.
I will leave you with this mind-blowing fact: Michael has created approximately 6,000 completed works or works in progress thus far, with some taking a decade or more to finish.
— The Editor