Atlanta is a city that deeply brands itself by the phoenix myth – a bird born by fire. Where I find this brand appropriate, it has become a cliche and does not fully pay respect to the art community here.
Georgia is a state that has the lowest art funding in America…. This means the art one sees in this city is feral and created not by state government institutions, but rather a DIY movement of creatives and individuals / groups that wish to promote creativity. This makes us a wild city – a city primarily defined by the people that live in it (i.e. living walls, goat farm, Dashboard, etc) and create. This installation is a homage to the feral individuals with vision that brought culture to this city in spite of a state that does not “feed” it. Although funding is greatly needed, Altanta is proof that creativity will manifest itself, with or without the help of the state which “houses” her.
Mike Stasny is an installation artist, performance artist, and sculptor from the midwest currently working out of Atlanta. He primarily works with raw building materials and broken furniture converting them into “creatures” inspired by natural history museums, sci-fi, and his grandfather – an eccentric taxidermist whom let Mike play in his basement with numerous dead things.
Prompted by party motifs and “parodying” human life, Mike Stasny’s performance work lampoon’s social experiences by inviting viewers into a surreal world of costumes and installation. His most notorious work to date is “what what in the butt” – a youtube virial video that conflates homosexuality, blackness, and religion into an absurd / escapist cartoon like universe.
Mike is associated with a variety of art collectives including Dashboard Co-op, Goat Farm Art Center, and IFLY. He is also founder of “Sumptuary”, an ongoing arts funding practice that supports, presents and promotes artists’ experience through non-commodifiable projects through “taxation” on consumables. A variety of publications have featured Michael’s work including Art Papers, Burnaway, and Creative Loafing.