- Words and Photos by Kristy Calabro
Michael Alan: Art & My Mom Saved Me
"Art is pure, art is life. My Mom is life, my Mom is love.” - Michael Alan
At Michael’s very special, nostalgic art show, he honored his Mom, Raindrop. She is a spiritual poet, originally from Bushwick, now living in Staten Island. Her spirit and nature saved him and made him the artist he is today. I got the chance to experience this one-of-a-kind tribute and asked Michael a few questions.
Kristy Calabro: This is a multimedia art experience, but ultimately it’s a tribute to your Mom. How has your Mom inspired you as an artist? Michael Alan: My first memories as a child were coloring with my Mom and making silly lines and faces. She was my first model and she is my best friend! We didn't have much money; we made toys from garbage. Crayons and paper were my toys. My Mom and whole family are from Bushwick and I was born out there. My mom is the most giving, healing, creative spirit. She takes credit for nothing and does everything. Growing up in the Old NY can easily take you down. It would’ve be easy not to make it at that time. But, coming home to my Mom and pushing on, my art and my Mom saved me many times. People think of NY as art, or a rich place. Old NY was the Wild West. I'm lucky to be alive. I thank art, gifts and my Mom. KC: Do you remember the first time art was introduced to you by your Mom or Dad?
MA: My mom would drive me all around to other artist’s homes that she was writing and working with. They took me with them all over the city and art was everywhere! My Dad had Dali collector’s prints that I would stare at. I would draw my parents all the time. I did portraits of my Mom and Dad every day! KC: You declare, “A Spiritual Trans State Exploratory Art Healing Adventure”. How does art heal? MA: For me it's a mission, it's something I feel I can do to bring people together. I heal in other ways! KC: How did your Mom like this tribute?
MA: She had a great time! She’s so funny and a people person. She could have her own TV show! I think she should be the main model and performer and not because she is my Mom. She is amazing! Maybe we will have another show at the end of the summer with her and some close friends. KC: How has Staten Island influenced your art? MA: Wutang, old punk bands, losing loved ones, the DJs on SI, the late nights, South Beach, Stapleton! The violence comes out in some drawings! I think of Staten in the 90’s and I want to make a big skull explode! I think of Staten now and I want to make a flower with a Russian nude! I’m from Brooklyn and got stranded here as a kid and was back and forth... I feel I have no home.
I guess you could say, home is where the art is. For more information on all things Michael Alan, please visit michaelalanart.com