Mike Perry’s Twitter bio reads that he’s “busy making stuff,” and after witnessing his latest project in person it’s clear he’s not kidding. He’s an extremely prolific and talented artist with a solid work ethic, and his efforts in the past few years have become more and more ambitious. From his first book, Hand Job: A Catalog of Type, to successive books Iron Me On, Over & Over, and most recently Pulled: A Catalog of Screen Printing, Mike has become a major figure where contemporary art and design collide. His own work has expanded from drawings and screen prints to sculpture, painting, products, and animation, with solo exhibitions across the US, Europe, and Japan.
Mike’s most ambitious project yet is a three-month free community exhibition and event space near his studio in Brooklyn called Wondering around Wandering, coming shortly after the release of his monograph by the same name. The project was a huge collaborative effort funded on Kickstarter with the help of the design community. A testament to Mike’s dedication and hard work, he and a group of artist/designer friends held a 24-hour drawing marathon during the Kickstarter campaign that was streamed live on youtube, which was instrumental in pushing the campaign over its goal.
This past year, the bulk of his book Pulled has been a traveling exhibition, finally landing back in New York for Wondering Around Wandering. The space was kicked off this past Saturday with an opening reception featuring the work from Pulled and a selection of Mike’s recent drawings, paintings, products, and sculptures from his monograph.
The venue for the space is a 7000 square-foot converted warehouse and it feels like a playground bursting with creative energy. Half of the space is dedicated to the Pulled exhibition, featuring works from the book by artists and designers like Steven Harrington, Cody Hudson, Andrew Holder, James Victore, and Justin Fines, among many others. Prints cover the walls from top to bottom. The other half of the space is dedicated to Mike’s work. Upon entering the exhibition you see a shop that looks like a treehouse, with books, zines, apparel, and other cool things you can wear and use. Winding around past the shop is a series of prints and sculptural objects depicting a tall sandwich made of starry goop with a sword stuck through it. Further on is a group of colorfully patterned head shapes in profile hanging together from the ceiling. Another piece made of overlapping rainbow-painted wood panels looks like a section of roof from a psychedelic cottage. The absurd and positive energy of the work feels natural and infectious.
The exhibition is just the beginning. Over the next few months the space will be busy with workshops, talks, open drawing sessions, musical performances, and collaborative art projects. You can see the full schedule here and note the opening dates for RSVPs, since this stuff will fill up quickly. This is going to be an amazing and unique experience. If you’re in New York during the next few months, you won’t want to miss it.