By Christopher A. Pape
Michael Albert, well-known New York artist, is proud to produce works of art that are completely orginial and are loved by children and adults alike. For our party, he created a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. I sat down with him to figure out his process and find out more about his works.
We are big fans and hope that you will be too!
Resident (R): What made you get into art?
Michael Albert (MA): I started going to museums and I thought art is important and special and that’s why its treated the way it is; kept in museums and collected by people all over the world. And I wanted to do something special in my life; it took me into a new world that I could secretly create masterpieces.
R: Tell us how you got into the work you are doing now?
MA: As I got out of school I continued to draw and I started making collages. I was aware of the fact that if I didn’t make art I would become a businessman and less of an artist. Eventually I started making collages because there is so much waste that if you don’t know what to do with it it could make you crazy. So I started using stickers and stuff from junk mail and photos that weren’t so great and evolved from there. Using things that were perfectly good materials, but I had no use for them. Eventually I got into this practice of cutting and pasting and got away from drawing. I came across an empty Frosted Flakes box and I don’t even eat them, but I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away so I brought it up to my office and in a free moment I cut it up and rearranged the pieces. It was sort of like Warhol and the Campbell’s Soup Can, but rather than it being a silkscreen it’s a totally hand done process and what I realized in doing my work is that I’m saving this stuff from the landfill.
R: Are you in any museums or galleries?
MA: I don’t have a gallery I work with, but I have had many shows. I have run my traveling “Cereal Box Collage Workshop” program in many museums including the Smithsonian Museum of American Art and libraries, schools & children’s museums all over the Eastern coast & Midwestern USA and in Europe. It’s interesting my book is in a lot of museums like the MOMA, but I have not gotten any of my originals in those types of venues yet. I think the people decide what art is important, then the galleries & curators come on board—as it happened with Keith Haring
My version of the Last Supper is called the Last Breakfast and it has my Sir Real character surrounded by the twelve apostles and I put messages in like do the right thing, live each day as if it were your last and love thy neighbor. When I started using Pop imagery from famous consumer brands coupled with ideas like these, I think it made my art more meaningful. Like taking the Gettysburg Address and spelling it all out letter by letter, word by word,. If someone can see the amount of work that went into that collage and therefore appreciate the famous Lincoln speech more, that gives my work and life a deeper meaning. •