The times have finally caught up with the artist Mike Macfeat, who has long been known to create his own opportunities. He was an organizer of the Heretical Society, an anonymous group of artists that called for an end to both First Fridays and murals, screeds printed on mass-produced posters stapled up around town. The posters were a mix of of dark humor and white fury–two typical Michael Macfeat tactics that gave his identity away. Before that, Macfeat was one of the organizers of Meat, and before that, Heat–both artists groups that, in frustration with how art got shown, mounted independent exhibits. Macfeat said in an interview with his friend artist Timothy Buckwalter, “There was a conscious attempt to keep prices down to allow people with modest incomes to purchase the work. We were not terribly interested in decorating the homes of the rich.” He still steams at life’s and art’s injustices and inequities, like who does and doesn’t get Pews. We talked to Macfeat in his home/studio, with the cloud from his cigarettes creating a noir atmosphere. But mostly Macfeat is a funny man, who makes “paintings” on the computer, appropriating quotations from Samuel Beckett and drawings of Popeye. Macfeat had a solo show in April at Tiger Strikes Asteroid, and over time has shown at places from the ICA to Rosenwald-Wolf to Arcadia University. He still opposes any art world accepted wisdom, and maintains his integrity and independence by playing with language and images on the internet, with comment-rich sites on Flickr, Tumblr, and on his blog, History Will Absolve Mike. Here’s what he had to say.
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Here’s the video slide show:
This episode is edited by Peter Crimmins. The music is by Eric Biondo. The slide show is edited by artblog Intern Alison McMenamin. Thanks to the Knight Foundation for helping us get the ball rolling on this project. Thanks also to J-Lab‘s Enterprise Reporting Fund and William Penn Foundation for additional support and to our partner WHYY NewsWorks for their ongoing support and for sharing artblog radio episodes on the arts & culture page of their community news site NewsWorks.org. You can subscribe to artblog radio on iTunes.