After coming of an age sandwiched between two Iraq wars, Mike got into art school but quit New York’s Pratt Institute after his freshman year in 1997 to pursue a variety of interests from experimental art to collectibles.
Leading up to the 1999 WTO protests, Mike built portable homeless shelters used in sanctioned Seattle tent cities for 15 years to follow. By 2001, artist trading cards were his last college project and first professional one, hand printing and selling them by the 1000s to college party kids and street festival tourists. Naturally, the craft lead him to hand-sculpt clay action figures and, by late 2004, Mike quit his last “day jobs” fixing houses and teaching kids art.
The action figures’ run of art gallery exhibits started in 2004 at Roq La Rue, ran through Copro Gallery and to Jonathan Levine in New York. Since 2010 Mike connected to the Brooklyn-based toy company FCTRY, where he’s sculpted prototypes of RBG-Fauci-Bernie fame. During this stretch run Mike continued exploring his childhood inspirations, carving out a niche of pop culture satire and 1980s parodies with his cardboard shoes, wood carvings, and other projects.
In the 2016 to 2022 period of extreme change, Mike’s dramatic arch has not been uncommon. While losing a father not long before becoming one himself, since 2020 Mike has turned to the art of writing fiction after writing non-fiction for years. Now with the rapidly shifting global dynamics of technology, toys and art, Mike seeks new approaches to his creative process, and new outlets to share his work with the world.
Artist Support Program 2003: create the sound component of Art 2U, an interactive performance by Leavitt, which will combined sound effects with a robotic costume, live spoken-word, and an ArtCards vending machine.