Michael Turchin debuted his literally brilliant ‘Dirty Pop’ Magic Box exhibit at the luxe Mondrian Los Angeles to a crowd of close friends and art aficionados.
The event was a celebration of the playful and pop-culture obsessed artist’s evolution. These paintings leap off the canvas, making you laugh, reminisce and reflect on the power of iconography. The night kicked off with a champagne reception featuring a toast from Turchin’s husband Lance Bass. The exhibit is in part a tribute to the couple’s love, and of course to NSYNC’s filthiest hit. We all moved to Skybar for a dynamic mural unveiling; a series of melting, monochromatic popsicles meant to evoke LA Summer. Turchin knows how to design for impact, and this mural hits.
We sat down to talk about perspective, his roots and the thrill of it all.
The Knockturnal: I notice you have a very strong control of lines…
Michael Turchin Yes! Lot of lines. Haha.
The Knockturnal: Are you influenced by architecture?
Michael Turchin: I am, yeah. I come from a family of real estate builders. They built skyscrapers all over Miami. So yeah, definitely influenced by architecture my whole life.
The Knockturnal: What are some of your other influences? Other artists, or a sunrise, or whatever inspires you.
Michael Turchin: I kind of find inspiration in everything. This whole popsicle thing came about this Summer because I was literally eating a popsicle and I thought ‘this could be great as a work of art.’ I’m also interested in celebrity. I have a lot of celebrity references in my work. And color. It’s an explosion of color. I just love that. I like my art to be happy and make people happy.
The Knockturnal: Was there a moment where you realized color was the thing?
Michael Turchin: It kind of just started from the beginning. It started because I needed paintings for my house. So I did a painting for fun, I needed to lighten up my house. And then someone wanted to buy that painting and I was like, ‘OK, great! Of course, I’ll sell it to you.’ That was like six years ago and it kind of snowballed from that one moment.
The Knockturnal: So was the intention to become an artist before that?
Michael Turchin No, I went to school for finance. It was just a hobby from six years ago that I just started to do and now it’s my full-time job.
The Knockturnal: Has your finance background influenced your art? Are you a shark?
Michael Turchin: In all businesses, it’s important to have your finances in check and budget and plan for things like that. It comes into play for sure.
The Knockturnal: Obviously this series is called ‘Dirty Pop.’ How does it feel to have this pretty clear display of love out in public?
Michael Turchin: Oh it’s amazing. I’m so humbled. I’m a super shy guy and kinda stray away from all of that. But to have everybody here tonight and just to have this display in the Mondrian for everybody to see the next few months. I’m sure honored.
The Knockturnal; What are you working on now?
Michael Turchin: I can’t even think of that right now! I actually have a lot of commissions I need to do now. I kind of put them all on hold the past couple months. So I’m taking a break next week then I’m back to the grind just painting for a bunch of people.
We also spotted Joanna Garcia Swisher, Nick Swisher, Taylor Dayne, Billie Lee, Derek Warburton, Dr. Shahin Ghadir and wife Jessica Ghadir at Michael’s art celebration at the icon sbe hotel destination, Mondrian Los Angeles.
Photo Credit: Startraksphoto.com / Michael Simon