Inside a Hollywood apartment in Los Angeles, there are paint splatters covering the walls and floor, graffiti markers, tape, stencils and Bad Religion’s “No Control” playing at full volume. Stacked on the walls are vibrant colored canvases which, despite the surrounding chaos, show to be carefully articulated and professionally crafted.
It is the home of artist Mike Habs, who is looking to bridge the gap between post-punk music and abstract art. Originally from the Southside of Chicago, Mike was excessively drawn to loud, angry punk music, and recreates the aesthetic of the experiences in his work.
Along the walls of stacked paintings there are artworks that represent songs and albums from the likes of hard hitting bands such as At the Drive In, The Used, Hot Water Music, and Alkaline Trio. Each painting is meant to be a representation of the intense emotion conveyed by these bands and how they related to Mike’s personal development.
However, for a punk artist, when asked for his inspirations the response was rather …….psychedelic?
“One of my main influences is without a doubt Trey Anastasio. He is a creative powerhouse, and in my opinion one of the most humble and powerful artists out there. My work is currently paying homage to a completely different genre of post-punk music, but his enthusiasm and work ethic are what really keep me going. I’ve seen Phish about 25 times now, and don’t have plans on stopping anytime soon. Their performances have definitely driven and bled into all of my pieces. After that my other big inspirations are my friends Connor Grant (GOASTT) and Tiger Merritt (Morning Teleportation) who went on to play in more psychedelic type bands. They made me realize that if you work and work, you can really create something, and that’s it’s not just a fantasy or escapism.”
Mike Habs will be showing some of his recent work in the upcoming Los Angeles Pancakes & Booze Show May 6th and 7th. His paintings will also be featured as the focus in an upcoming music video with the band Polarcode ft. KYLE in the next month.
Watch Habs in action:
Los Angeles Pancakes & Booze Show
613 Imperial St
Los Angeles, CA 90021
May 6th and 7th – 9PM-1AM
Jeff Leavell is both a Vice Magazine and Frontiers Media published contributor.