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About this Art
This piece of original artwork comes ready to hang.
"American Integrity" is another piece in my Modern Hieroglyphics series, exploring iconic images of modern life reinterpreted as tattoo designs. The title could be read as a statement and a question. Do American’s have integrity? The imagery was found mostly in old books. The box van in the lower right is a project vehicle that I’m having modified in Denver right now. The “VA” and “Veronica” on the bracelet are nods to Veronica Avluv, one of my favorite adult performers. I love the chief’s headdress, but I've often seen artists (myself included) making the mistake of drawing women wearing them. Only the chief is allowed to wear it. It’s incredibly disrespectful for anyone else to wear them. The 303 in the lower left is a nod to Colorado where I currently reside. The “CD” symbol below that is something I grew up around. I used to see them everywhere as a kid. To me they symbolize the nuclear paranoia that was ever present during my youth. The knight in armor is another nod to my youth, particularly my love for the Dungeons and Dragons game. The concha belt in the upper left is a nod to New Mexico style. And the banjo next to that always makes me think of Steve Martin. Ever heard Steve play a banjo? He wails.” - Mike Giant
Born in 1971 in upstate New York, artist Mike Giant began drawing as soon as he could hold a crayon. His family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1979 where he was immersed in BMX bikes, skateboarding, heavy metal, punk rock, hip-hop and gang violence. He graduated in the top 10% of his high school class and attended the University of New Mexico (UNM) on scholarship as an architecture major. He began writing graffiti under the name “Giant” just before starting college and got his first tattoo soon after.
In 1993 he was offered a full-time job drawing graphics for Think Skateboards in San Francisco and decided to leave UNM without a degree. After four years at Think, he lived in London briefly, then returned to San Francisco to work in animation. In 1998, Giant was offered an apprenticeship in tattooing by Nalla Smith. He began tattooing full-time a year or so later, and worked in legendary shops like East Side Ink, Newskool and Everlasting. Giant made tattoos full-time for a decade before switching his attention to REBEL8, a clothing brand he founded with his old friend Joshy D in 2003. Then, after 20 years in California, Mike moved to Boulder, Colorado where he currently lives and works.
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