San Francisco based artist Mike Giant has been a fixture in the graffiti, skateboarding, tattoo and illustration scene for years. This past Friday, July 20th, he had his first solo show at the FFDG Gallery entitled “Confessions of an Old Dirty Skateboarder.” The show featured a wide assemblage of recent drawings and a rare opportunity to view the personal collection of skateboards he’s illustrated over the years. Black ink is his specialty, and his signature style inspired by Mexican folk art and Japanese illustration is unmistakeable. When you’ve seen a Mike Giant piece for the first time, you’ll be able to spot his artwork from across a crowded room.
Giant has shown in galleries around the world, and it only seems fitting for him to have his first solo show take place in San Francisco, the place he has chosen to call home. His work is filled with the imagery of his youth, and the generation of skateboarding and music in which he grew up:
“I’m a product of my generation. I grew up through the 80s and was drawn to the punk rock and hip-hop cultures simultaneously,” Giant said in a recent interview. “I threw myself in headfirst. A lot of those things were about personal expression, and also an anti-establishment attitude like, “We don’t need you, we have our won thing.” That’s the backbone of who I am to this day.”
Here’s a video which serves as a quick little intro to Mike Giant and how he views working as a professional artist. It’s a great insight even for people who are familiar with his work. Afterwards, check out his new work from the show below.