Jesse Michaels (who recently did our interview with Danny Fox in the Winter 2020 print edition) is also a visual artist himself, working in Los Angeles. Self-trained, Michaels has been both an artist and illustrator for over thirty years. Although he is most well known as the vocalist for Operation Ivy starting in 1985, he helped define the visual aesthetic of the Bay Area punk scene, including record cover art for bands including Operation Ivy, ‪Green Day‬, and Neurosis.

For the last five years he has concentrated solely on creating a new art practice, separate from his early illustration work, containing paintings and drawings that focus on the imagery of War and Crime, which debuts at Apt. Gallery in NYC on December 13, 2019. The exhibition will feature drawings of soldiers, detectives and criminals, evoking feelings of fatalism, loneliness, excitement, and lurking sexuality.

“Humanity’s dance with violence and cruelty never stops. It’s part of breaking off into a mortal body or something," Michaels says. "In the real world, it is tragic and incredibly stupid and vicious, always, but these subjects are an endless source of fascination for art. My pictures do not deal with the realities of crime and war, they are dealing with it as a basis for storytelling and personal image making. The darker sides of life are a mystery. So is love and joy, for that matter. I probably started doing art to make sense of it all but once it is done, you end up with more mysteries.”

Apt. Gallery is a gallery and project space located in the hallway of an East Village apartment, curated by Aiden Tuite and Brendan Brulon, follows the tradition of many East village artist spaces. Apt. Gallery has hosted private viewings, events, and exhibitions with works from artists including Mark Gonzales, Daniel Johnston, Sandy Kim, Larry Clark, Dave Schubert, and Chad Moore.

Contact [email protected] for appointments!