Having drawn since childhood, it wasn't until his early twenties that Mike Giant began to pursue art making as a career. He was in the end of his fourth year of architecture studies in his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, when he was offered a position for drawing graphics for Think Skateboards. He accepted the job and moved North to San Francisco, the city where he would spend the next ten years and cement his place in the world of fine art. In San Francisco he found the ideal venue for his unique style of artistic expression- graffiti, zines, graphic design, and ultimately tattoos.
In 2001, Giant's artwork outgrew its cradle in the streets and he had his first solo exhibition at WDWA Gallery in New York City. He has exhibited his drawings in Tokyo, Japan along Sam Flores and Bigfoot, at Misanthropy Gallery in Vancouver, BC, as well as at countless venues in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Though it is Mike's graffiti art for which he remains most widely recognized, his tattoo work has become internationally renown in the relatively short time span in which he has been tattooing. Since his debut in 1998, he has been employed by exceptional shops in San Jose, San Francisco and New York City, collaborating with heavyweights such as Paco Excel, Mike Davis and Patrick Conlan. His recent work can be seen in the 2004 tattoo issue of Juxtapoz magazine.
In 2003, after a brief stay in rural France, Giant returned to Albuquerque where he will return to his former university to study art for the first time. He has opened a tattoo shop, Stay Gold, in Albuquerque where he continues to work. His drawings can be found on apparel available from Tribal Gear, Upper Playground, and Rebel 8 clothing, as well as at www.skullzpress.com. Giant uses the venue of the Skullz Press publications to create artwork that expresses his individual interests, free from the content and structure that is dictated by the limitations of tattooing or drawing for graphics.
Latin and Hispanic culture play a major role in the execution of his silhouettes, which often resemble buxom pin-up femme fatales and assorted other voluptuous characters, often outfitted with skulls and animal tentacles. Be them shapely graceful figures or flashy femme fatales from various eras and cultures, Mike Giant's characters always guarantee a stellar viewing experience.
(Mike Giant Bio adapted from Galerie Magda Danysz website)
Mike Giant at work (for The Tenderloin Project)
Links: mikegiant.com, skullzpress.com, rebel8.com