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Opening Friday, November 11th at Inner State Gallery, artist Mike Giant unveils Impermanent Vacation an entirely new body of work which includes his largest piece to date. The Colorado-based artist, illustrator and counter culture icon will showcase new works on vintage paper, letterheads and more for his first ever Detroit exhibition.
"I see my life as a human being as an ‘Impermanent Vacation.’ It is our nature to grow old and die. It doesn't last. As a gentle reminder of my own mortality, I have the same words tattooed on my hands. The tattoos are a reminder to have fun with life, to keep a positive mental attitude, to treat it like a vacation. I also think about those who wish to end my vacation, namely law enforcement. The pieces in the show were produced with these themes in mind. Uplifting and optimistic on the one side, critical and confrontational on the other,” Giant said from his Colorado studio.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
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.
Find more by Mike Giant at mikegiant.com.
Follow Mike on Instagram @ogmikegiant & Facebook