ART TV! Mike Parsons interview on counter culture television program “Liquid Lunch” hosted by Hugh Reilly and Erin Ademoglu. In this clip we discuss my graffiti street art experiments and revelations. In addition to my long career as a gallery artist and comic book creator I also spent five years working as a full time street performer 2004-2009. During that time I used to set up a portable studio gallery right on the sidewalks of Toronto’s busy Queen Street West fashion district. When I started doing these public interventions it was just a small and informal adventure but quickly became a tour-de-force street extravaganza involving live mural paintings, public story telling sessions and an entire crew of strange characters and artists breathing life into the city sidewalks. This part of the interview walks us through a collage and brief recap of those crazy summers starting from a small case of drawings all the way to large paintings and travelling performances.
The street days were the most exciting and inspirational time of my life. It was a truly amazing experience to take my practice, process and person and stand out in the middle of the city like a crazy person. When I first started drawing I had a very withdrawn and pessimistic view of the city and people in general however my public interactions drastically affected both my art and philosophies. I met so many different kinds of people, from beggars to Hollywood stars, while working as a street artist that I came across a new found optimism for mankind. Of course I still see the world as a problematic nightmare but when you make the effort to actually engage with people on a face to face basis (something artists tend not to do locked up in the studio or on a pedestal at an art opening) you might be surprised what you find.
The full interview includes conversations about comic book drawings, the semiotics of fashion, working in animation, and the trials of government arts grant programs. Originally broadcast April 8/2011