Mike Egan - Artist, from Pittsburgh, Pa. Has worked in funeral homes for the last several years. His Artwork tends to deal with life, death and religion. Mike shows us the light through darkness. Paying respect to folk- style inspirations while giving us a new heartfelt view into his world of first hello's and last goodbyes. His work is already inspiring tattoos and the future holds great things as we sink deeper into the core of his mind and view the portraits of his soul.
GOODWINTER:First, tell us a little about yourself, where you grew up and how and when did you become interested in art?
MIKE EGAN: I live and grew up in Moon Township which is just outside of
Pittsburgh, PA. I started drawing in kindergarten, so I was like 6 or 7 at the time.
GW: who are some other artists you enjoy?
EG: I love The Date Farmers, Neckface, Margaret Kilgallen, The Clayton
Brothers, Richard Colman, Ben and Andy Kehoe, Rob Larson,
Joe Bruce, ThinkMule, Fred Stonehouse, the list goes on and
GW: does music play a roll in your paintings? Do you listen while you paint? Could you give us a play list or bands you are currently playing?.
ME: Yes, I love music!!! I listen to all types of music when I paint, here is what I've been
And you will know us by the trail of dead
Murder city devils
Band of Horses
GW: do you believe in an afterlife?
ME: I believe in Heaven and Hell, however I believe in ghosts
GW: Tell us about Pittsburgh, the town where you live and how it's influenced your art?
ME:Pittsburgh is the best, the people of this city are very hard working. There are a lot
of working class neighborhoods and a lot of different ethnicity. Pittsburgh is loaded with old churches, bars and funeral homes, which all influence my work. Oh and our
football team is pretty sweet too!!!! * 2008-9 Super Bowl Champions *
GW: What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid?
ME: I always loved the classics, Skeletons and Devils.
GW: Tell us a movie that almost everyone you know has seen but you havent?
ME:I hate to admit this but I never sat down and watched The Godfather.
GW: What are some of your favorite horror films?
ME: Oh boy...I love Friday the 13th, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw
Massacre, Evil Dead, Devil's Rejects, etc.
GW: have you ever seen a ghost?
ME: Never saw one, but certainly heard some noises when I worked in funeral homes.
GW: It's just around corner so I have to ask, St. Patricks day what do you do? and why I haven't seen any lucky shamrocks in your work yet?.
ME: I'm working on it!! I usually go out for a few pints of Guiness with my friends.
GW: If you were to look for the ultimate of inspiration and you could go anywhere. where would you choose to go?
ME: Honestly, I would go to a nice quiet beach where no one would bother me so I could sit and work.
GW:What character from the Wizard of Oz do you most identify with?
ME:The dog, I don't really like to talk much.
GW: you've said: "I like to think that each painting is in some way a good bye to somebody who passed away. A funeral portrait." What was your art like before working in Funeral homes? And who would you like to paint your funeral portrait?
ME: My work has always had a dark theme running through it. The only
thing that is different is that I'm a better artist now. I look at my old stuff and I'm not too sure what I was thinking. I would definitely have The Clayton Brothers do my portrait.
GW: Tell us about the symbols and numbers used in your paintings?
ME: Well I use the number 77 because I was born in 1977. It's my way of putting myself in the paintings. I'll use 7s for good luck and 13s for bad luck. I also like to use tons of crosses as a form of protection.
GW: most prized possession?
ME: Um...I would say old photographs of my family.
GW: What's your biggest fear?
ME: That I will fail as an artist, people will stop showing interest in my work.
GW: Tell us what drives you crazy?
GW: I easily envision your work as stained-glass pieces- in what other ways has the Church influenced your work? And would you ever consider a collaboration with a stained-glass artist?
ME: I love religious artwork and going into old churches. Working with a stained glass artist would be great, I'd love to do that!!
GW: In what direction are you heading with your art, where are you taking it?
ME: I'd like to work on different wooden boxes, do more woodcut prints and work on doing some t-shirts.
GW: Tell me a secret?
ME: I'm standing behind you right now.
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