Tiny Death: Small works by Mike Egan (October 4 – 26th, 2019)
October 24 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm EDT
An event every week that begins at 9:00 am on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, repeating until October 26, 2019
An event every week that begins at 9:00 am on Friday, repeating until October 26, 2019
An event every week that begins at 11:00 am on Saturday, repeating until October 26, 2019
Our next artist on display, Mike Egan, has been featured before at Arthaus Projects as part of two special projects hosted by Australian artist Johnny Romeo. For October we will be giving Mike the entire gallery space and showcasing his “Tiny Death” series. The exhibition opens Friday, October 4 from 6 – 9pm, and is on display until Saturday, October 26.
About the Artist
Mike was born outside of Pittsburgh, PA in 1977 (a reason why you’ll find those numbers in his artwork). As a kid, Mike would trace cartoons, skateboard graphics, and album covers. Mike can recall drawing Guns N Roses “Appetite For Destruction” many times in sixth grade. He took art classes throughout high school and decided to pursue a degree in fine arts after school. He went on to college at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, two hours north of Pittsburgh. He focused on printmaking at the time which is where he learned about artists like Jose Guadalupe Posada and the German Expressionists like Kathe Kollwitz. Egan loved woodcut printing as it offered bold black linework and a graphic quality that he’d later use in my paintings.
After he finished school and returned home where he did not have the necessary supplies to continue making my prints, so he turned to painting so he could keep making art. To be honest, his paintings were bad. Really bad, but he enjoyed making them and continued to learn what worked and what didn’t. Egan lived near the airport and ended up picking up a job with the airlines. He had worked there part-time cleaning airplanes until he got a full-time job at one of the hangars. His first day of work was an intro class of we should expect while working there. After two hours of videos, we took a quick break. When we returned to class the television had images of planes flying into buildings. His first day of a full-time job with the airlines ended up being September 11, 2001. So that job ended rather quickly however he kept making art, bad art. He had discovered that there was a mortuary school in Pittsburgh where he could get licensed as a funeral director/embalmer. He knew nothing about the business or what he was getting myself into.
He went to school for a year and followed that up with an internship for another year. He learned how to do removals, embalm, do restorations, dress and casket people, do the cosmetics and assist on funerals. He continued to paint and made a lot more bad art. He eventually got a job as an embalmer out in Reading, PA in 2005, four hours east of Pittsburgh. Between four locations we did 500 calls a year, so it was a busy time for me. The hard thing about being an embalmer is that you’re on call so when someone passed my phone rang and he had to go to work. He spent a lot of time alone in his apartment waiting for said phone to ring. A lot. This is where he learned to craft his paintings and style.
He thought back to his printmaking days in 2000 and how he loved the bold line work he was doing. So he started to paint in that style and things started to click for me. He was making a lot less bad art and started to make some good ones. In 2006, a friend of Mike’s put together a gallery show in Pittsburgh and included his paintings. Mike sold three the opening night and thought he’s doing something right. he used his love of religious imagery, his experiences dealing with life and death, and his love for skeletons and devils to make his art. Since then he’s been working with galleries all over the United States, Canada, and the UK and have designed art toys that got him to Comic Con in San Diego.
About Arthaus Projects
Arthaus Projects is a community arts center focused on visual artforms. Our programming includes multiple gallery exhibitions per year that focus on bringing contemporary, pop-culture influenced artwork to Central Pennsylvania. Throughout each exhibition, we offer special events, art workshops, and performances that coincide with the theme of the show, highlight an art activity or attract new people to the gallery space. Arthaus Projects is devoted to bringing art to the masses, and as such, strives to bring the community together for thought-provoking conversations about art.
Arthaus Projects has no interest in the elitist viewpoints held by stuffy galleries. We welcome anyone with even the slightest curiosity through our doors and believe that there is no such thing as a silly question. We want our visitors to take their time exploring the gallery and experiencing some emotion (good, bad or indifferent). At Arthaus Projects, we believe that art is meant to challenge, and a successful exhibition should challenge our visitors.
In addition to challenging patrons, Arthaus Projects strives to grow our artists by pushing them with unusual exhibitions. Arthaus Projects showcases artists from around the world, and we push our artists to do more than just hang their work on our walls. We host unique events such as Steam Roller printmaking day, the CMY5k race and art fair, and artist collaboration through the use of technology. Arthaus Projects is always looking for new ideas and concepts in the pursuit of creating interesting art.
Through our programming, Arthaus Projects consistently provides artists with opportunities to grow their career. Every year, we host an open-call juried exhibition which allows even first-time artists an opportunity to showcase their work in a professional gallery. Through these juried exhibitions, Arthaus Projects has coached young artists on the “ins and outs” of the art world, aided with how to properly price their work, and assisted with learning how to market themselves as artists. Connections are also commonly made through the gallery that are invaluable to an artist’s future success.
Arthaus Projects is holding the community to a higher standard and are revitalizing the town by enriching culture. Please join us for an opening, a special event or for a more intimate experience, visit us during any of our normal business hours.