Monday, January 20, 2014

The Galleria of Michael Kraus

Cleaned out my childhood bedroom last fall to make room for a new home office.  Found some stuff that I hope you enjoy.

"State and Madison Streets, Chicago", Pen and ink, 1999: The first piece of art I created at the School of the Art Institute (SAIC).  This was the view from my dorm (the Chicago building, which they renamed Jones Hall).  Classes hadn't started yet and I was trying to get use to moving from a town of 22,000 to a world-class city of 2.9 million people.  First thing they teach you in art school is to use something nicer than 20lbs copy paper.  This is an example why...

"Dorm", pen and ink, 1999: Another drawing I did in my dorm right before classes started.  This is a view of my roommate's side of the room.  

This was a series I started and never finished in 2004.  I believe this was for some project or show that never took place or something.  I forget.  But, it did lead to me creating a bunch more of these that I gave away to quite a few people.

"Leaving Iraq", scratchboard,  2004:  

"The Pizza Man and His Girlfriend (dark)", scratchboard, 2004:  

"The Pizza Man and His Girlfriend (light)", scratchboard, 2004:   

"Jacquie", scratchboard, 2004:  

"Back Alley", scratchboard, 2002:  Again, another view from my dorm at SAIC.  But, this the 162 N. State St. building.  The side of the Oriental Theatre is to the left and the ABC 7 building is straight ahead.  I was never bored living at an art school dorm in downtown Chicago.

"J.T. Law self titled cassette album cover (original)" pen and computer, 1999: Punk rock!  You couldn't get more DIY than this.  The artwork is a collage of photographs from various shows and activities we participated in.  A police officer that tried shutting down one of our shows actually made it in three times.  Hand drawn logo and band information.  Some snazzy work using scissors and glue with the song titles.  A friend of ours that worked at the copy shop of an office supply store printed a ton of these for us for free.  And, that's doesn't include recording the music ourselves in the studio.

 "J.T. Law Kids Flyer (copy)", computer, 1999: Nothing like appropriating strange photos for punk show flyers.  For the band, zine, etc, I use to have stacks of images from newspapers and magazines to use for various promotional items.  I'd pass out hundreds of these school and then drop them off all over town after 3pm.  The Big Wheels was a local powerhouse out of Montague.  J.F.K. (Just For Kicks) was a group with played with a few times out of Grand Rapids.  And Hoppin' Mad was from the Detroit area, I think...

"Monkey On a Hog Flyer (copy)", computer, 1999: Another show at Palmer Hall.  I remember going through the yellow pages calling every banquet, bingo, and reception hall in the county to try to find a place that would allow a minor to put on a concert.  They were one of a very few and they allowed me to do so frequently.  If I still lived in Muskegon, I'd love to buy that place and turn it into a venue as we always did well there.  I'd love to see the Wack Trucks, Temple of Doom, and "a mystery band" again.

"J.T. Law Tape Release Show with Liver Dye! (copy)", computer, 1999: The Ice Pick was an infamous venue.  The owner was in a constant battle with the police.  The graffiti all over the plywood walls.  The worst bathroom you could imagine.  Beer bottle dodging for every member of the band.  And, that's the tame stuff...  This was a memorable show.  And, if you've ever seen Liver Dye, you'll never forget them.

"Schism Zine One-Year Anniversary Show Flyer (original)", mixed media, 1999: By far, the greatest show I've ever been a part of.  Stephanie Rose was amazing at pulling this off.  For six hours, you could see Misled Youth, JFK, J.T Law (before I joined the group), The Big Wheels, The Addictives, Skeptics, and the Bounty Hunters.  To be in the show, we required each band to print and distribute at least 500 flyers.  It worked really well because we had people from as far as Detroit and Chicago show up.  It turned into a parking nightmare and when the only two police officers of the town arrived they decided it was better to pretend they didn't know this was going on than to try to shut us down.  If only I had a VCR, because I found a video tape that someone recorded and gave to me of the show as well.

And, if you're looking for some art, let me know.

To see more of my stuff, please visit:

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