i'm not sure where i first saw michael hsiung's work. it was over the past year or so. however, i do remember distinctly how quickly mesmerized i was by his monochromatic color scheme and humor. i really enjoy the nautical debauchery and pillaging that goes on within michael's work. i'm not normally a big fan of violence, but i was instantly overjoyed by the scenes michael creates. he draws them so well, making the mayhem almost delightful. plus his subject matter which includes narwhals, mermen, teddy bears, and centaurs is just the bee's knees.
michael recently answered some q's i had for him about his drawings, inspirations, hitler, horns and why unicorns and narwhals are so radical. i hope you like it, i laughed out loud. michael is incredibly funny, which clearly comes over in his work. this is one description from a drawing on his website: "there is no knowing what a stretch of love and beauty the human mind is capable of contemplating while it is sitting upon a baby angora unicorn." to enjoy more of his humor check out his flickr page and blog. both insanely entertaining. my favorite, for sure.
your work has a bit of an old timey flair to it. has it always been that way?
why do you think old timey is such a great description?
old-timey is such a great description because it sort of captures the ambiguity of all periods somewhere from the 1950's to the 1800's. and that's huge... it's like anything from a top hat to the locomotive. you know, i recently had my birthday themed old-timey and my sister said she'd come as a cave woman. see, i guess that's also kind of old-timey too.
i saw on your flickr page you had a photo of a woman in a carriage w/ a crocodile pulling it like a horse it was titled 'drawing inspiration'. what are some of your other inspirations?
dungeons & dragons 2nd edition of course, gary gygax, the book on the whaleship essex, olaus magnus the mapmaker, john ashton, fantastical creatures in general, the zoo, xanadu... but often times I'll find myself thinking of "ice skating" or something and then after i do some searching about it - i'll find amazing old pictures that sort of will inspire me to do something. did i say grace jones? well, she does. i also love romance novels.
many of your drawings have animals that seem to be hybrids of other animals. can you talk a little bit about these horned furry creatures.
speaking of horns, let's talk about how great unicorns and narwhals are. you go first.
funny how this will be my longest response of the whole interview, huh. okay, you're turn!
you have a great sense of humor that translates into your work, have you ever worked on serious pieces?
i love your mermen drawings. what is it about mermen that you love?
hitler seems to be cropping up lately in your work. have you gotten any flack for that?
what are you working on right now? what's coming up for you?
well, right now i should be working on more and more drawings, an album cover design for henry clay people, and a logo for unhee clothing, but i'm sitting here at work pretending.
i've got an upcoming show july 11 called crazians at the world of wonder which puts together crazy asian artists(i think I might be more crazy than asian), then the suggestion box group show at GR2 july 19, and finally september 19 a group show at barnsdall art park, los angeles where I'm doing a mural? really? shit. oh yeah, i'll have some stuff up in NY october 2008 at gallery hanahou for spread the lead show. this is all making me panic.