Katarina Hybenova


Nobody said that art is only that pretty thing on the wall you can’t touch.

Bushwick born artist Michael Alan wants you to get creative with him this Saturday night, Sept. 2 as he paints and sculpts directly on the bodies of his performers, using glow-in-the-dark materials.

While Michael creates a living sculpture on the bodies of his performers, you can watch, draw, photograph, write poetry, and really do anything as long as you remain respectful to the space and the community. 

Performers will be improvising throughout the night, and Michael “will be adding to their masks and building their shapes with props and his own artwork. This usually involves a ton of wet paint,” explained Jadda Cat who runs Living Installation with Alan. “These Saturday nights are a fun way to bring people to his studio and make new friends,” she added.

There will be live vinyl music hand-picked by Alan from his extensive collection, which combined with improv and various “silly noises” from performers and the audience create a full immersive experience.

According to Cat the weekly gatherings at Alan’s studio have a very relaxed and meditative vibe to them. “It is great for people who don’t like to hang out in bars,” she added. 

The studio can accommodate up to 15 people at once, who are seated in chairs or on the floor. The night usually runs in two or three sessions. It is not required that you show up on time. “It is a free-flowing experience,” said Cat. “Each live show is a new work and a new experience, non-scripted but so different,” explained Alan. 

Throughout the night, Alan moves between the stage and the audience where he observes and draws. “The process begins with drawing and ends with drawing,” he said. 

“The sessions work well with all the work and fun toys, sculptures and all the works. People love to flip through all my drawing books that would never happen unless we did this,” Alan said.

Living Installation has been running since 2000, and as Michael likes to say, “It’s one of the last true D.I.Y. New York punk art events. It draws energy from institutions such as the Mud Club, The Factory, and the old CBGBs, as well as NYC alleyways in the ‘80s.”

The event has been organized previously in Manhattan but also in Florida, and next month is coming to Milwaukee. Alan has had audiences of a couple of hundred and worked with large venues, but as he says, the weekly Living Installation in his cozy Bushwick studio near Jefferson L, work the best. The exact address of the studio will be emailed to the participants upon purchase of a $20 ticket.

“Let go of all life’s worries, problems and stigmas, and just get loose and open with no drugs explore freedom,” Alan says. 

Michael Alan’s drawing based on Living Installation. 

Next Living Installation takes place in a private art studio two blocks away from Jefferson L train stop on Sept. 2 from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets are $20 and have to be purchased online before the event.

Follow Michael Alan on Instagram

All the photos courtesy of KristyNYC.