One of the most engaging kinds of art is art that sets up an emotional dialogue with the viewer. If that art also is created with technical virtuosity and comes from the heart then you have art that you owe it to your self to go see.
Michael Alan’s solo show “The Energy Reader” at Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert’s gallery is that kind of amazing transformative experience. It’s a show where an artist fearlessly opens his heart with the sincere desire to share his love of life with the viewer.
Michael Alan is a true native-born New York artist who has a significant presence in different scenes, tirelessly creating large scale public art projects, music, (including collaborations with noted, iconic musicians such as Tommy Ramone, The Residents, Meredith Monk and Jello Biafra just to name a few), teaching at S.V.A, and creating ground breaking, inclusionary, underground, art/performance/music special events for a multi-generational audience of devoted fans.
Alan, age 36 is an innovative explorer of multimedia technique, and he uses his masterful drawing skills to create elaborately detailed pieces that are as emotionally resonant as they are visually beautiful.
On the left as you enter, jewel like smaller pieces are arranged in an orderly row, each elaborately drawn image resting in a different field of color. They are richly rendered individual worlds, inviting contemplative inspection, each filled to the brim with incredibly detailed figures dancing in webs of brilliant colors.
They keep company with larger works on the left, some on paper mounted on board and some on wood, that are also intricate and airy constructions, alive with pulsating nodules of intensely colored icons. In addition, collaged images are anchored and linked together with mixed media elements utilizing overlapping techniques. The overall effect is of an incredible surreal mindscape that invites a viewer to dive in to an alternate reality.
One of the larger works, “Volleyball” is a tensile surface alive with blazes of color, where lavishly drawn figures and impish faces float and vibrate amongst sprays of primary strokes and pastel clouds of ghostly tones. Alan lavishes meticulous care on each of the denizens of this otherworldly realm, and balances each element on a supportive web of lines, creating a piece that can be enjoyed as a vibrating whole or read as a narrative road map to that alternative reality that exists inside his brain and yours.
A smaller piece “Uplifting Thaughts” could be the portrait of a resident of the esoteric universes that Alan creates. Striding solemnly forth, a figure made of wires and brilliantly colored lines peers upward, in anxiety or rapt contemplation of the mysteries of Alan’s particular Universe.
What I find amazing is the positive energy that these pieces possess, as if Alan, who has suffered from a series of debilitating physical injuries and medical conditions, is telling us that the creative act is something that can sustain us, and bring us joy and comfort in spite of difficult circumstances.
Michael Alan’s work can be seen on Michaelalanart.com
Article by Michael Kronenberg