Michi Meko

Photo: Jeremy Brown

Art Papers: Where do you look for inspiration? 

Michi Meko: Venus and Serena Williams, and boxing.

AP: What do you wish for people to know about your work? 

MM: That I’m in search of a truth.

AP: How do you know when a work is finished? 

MM: When the work communicates balance in a way that can’t be explained.

AP: Describe your studio when you’re working.

MM: I think of the studio as a sacred space. It’s a laboratory where one gets to test hypotheses and search for a truth through the work. In some ways it’s an extension of myself. The sound choices for my studio are wide and varied but it depends on one’s mood at the moment. The space could be filled with Shabazz Palaces, Daniel Caesar, or lectures by Fred Moten. I enjoy the calmness of Sahdguru’s voice as I quest for a higher enlightenment. I prefer working at night. It feels like the Earth—the surrounding environment outside—is going silent, slowly becoming still. It’s in that stillness that I experiment in order to push materials and ideas to their elastic limits. I find inspiration in the night sky. The work is partly about gazing at the night sky and orienting one’s self in relation to it.

My studio space is cleaned, then organized in my way, but then destroyed. It’s a process that occurs while searching for the automatic self—the purest mark that one can produce. I don’t really allow many visitors into the space. It’s a thing about energy, I guess. I only want certain energies in my space. For studio visits, I only show what I want them to see. I only allow photos of certain things. After a group or visitor leaves, I smudge the space with sage or palo santo. I have to restore the order.

I drink a lot of tea while I work. I love Skinny Pop and going to the Whole Foods salad bar for studio food. In the winter I like to reheat leftovers on top of my Kerosene heater and eat out of the pot.

AP: Read anything good lately?

MM: Zadie Smith’s Grand Union and Derick Lugo’s The Unlikely Thru-Hiker: An Appalachian Trail Journey.



Learn more about Michi on his website.

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