Photos by Masha Fikhman
Michael Koehler grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the late 80s/early 90s. When he was about 7 years old he won a complete set of 1990 Marvel superhero cards at a Cub Scout meeting. His young mind was blown away by the art, the myriad of different heroes and villains, and their relationships with one another. He quit Cub Scouts the following day. His obsession with these characters grew as he spent hours drawing their strange costumes and exaggerated poses and acting like he was the Silver Surfer or Sabertooth with his cousin. They eventually started making up their own characters and meticulously drawing out all of their abilities and demeanors. Shortly after this he was introduced to skateboarding and was again blown away by the artwork that emblazoned the bottoms of decks. The rules were loose and it felt like the artists were able to push the limits further, resulting in grotesque, satirical, and tongue in cheek graphics. It sent his mind face first into an art fueled feeding frenzy.
Additionally, growing up watching weird cartoons and horror movies while endlessly reading anything on folklore and mythology helped him to create a his own world of strange people and creatures. He lets them interact however they want based on their character, their struggles, and their mythologies. He paints life into them and sets them free to explore, build homes, cause trouble, make art, work, fight, start cults, play games, create and worship gods, and develop into whatever creature they choose.
Born 1983, Pittsburgh PA
Education: Art Institute of Pittsburgh, AS, 2005
Selected Solo Exhibitions
Into the Cult Realms, Ballyhoo Curiosity Shop, Seattle, WA, 2017
Devil Got a Big Old Butt, Remedy, Pittsburgh, PA, 2014
Lost, Found, and Somewhere in Between, The Gallery 4, Pittsburgh, PA, 2012
Selected Group Exhibitions
Artist Mythos, Fulcrum Gallery, Tacoma, WA, 2017
Bedtime Stories, Future Tenant, Pittsburgh, PA, 2015
Everything But the Kitschen Sync, La Luz De Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, 2009
Future Tenant Gallery: Bedtime Stories, Futuretenant.org, 2015
DISCLAIMER: All content is for Promotional Use Only. Any unauthorized use or reproduction of images is prohibited unless stated otherwise by the artist.
All images are copyrighted © Art of Michael Koehler.
Links and Info
Michael Koehler creates a world thriving with cultish creatures and weirdo wizards. Relics include original paintings, art prints, zines/lorebooks, and hand painted figures and masks!
Michael Koehler was born at the stroke of midnight in the wilds of South Western Pennsylvania. While exploring the ancient rust realm he unearthed a tome filled with long forgotten relics. A narrow brush, finely ground pigments, and a book made from the petrified remains of an old fir tree. . Michael brought the materials together to create a world thriving with cultish creatures and wizard weirdlings. Breathing life into them, he sets them free to explore, build homes, cause trouble, make art, work, fight, start cults, play games, create and worship gods, and develop into whatever creature they choose.
Elder canyon Watcher Mask
The Elder Canyon Watcher lay dormant in this very mask for generations. Worn by the elements, and engraved by the sands of time, it has waited quietly for some soul brave enough or mad enough to wear this haunted mask upon their face.
This mask has been cast in resin and painted by hand to in an effort to best resemble the mythical Elder Canyon Watcher. Each one receives individual attention and scrutiny and is fully functional as a wearable mask.
The Fungal Lord, Strobilum Zaiar
2017, Gouache on Paper, 9 x 12 in.
The great Fungal Lord, Strobilum Zaiar rules the symbiotic under realm of fungal beings and entities. Through a mystical practice known as spore sentience, It breathes life into all those within it's vast neural network. Zaiar itself creates the various powers found within it’s followers with neutral intent, allowing them the free will to use them as they see fit. The power to nourish, to poison, or to pass knowledge through visions is given to all those who follow this ancient lord. It only asks in return for the expansion and protection of the great fungal realm.
Blind by Design: The Fool
2015, Acrylic on Wood, 11 x 13 in
From a series of paintings exploring the ecosystems within certain archetypes.
DISCLAIMER: All content is for Promotional Use Only. Any unauthorized use or reproduction of images is prohibited unless stated otherwise by the artist. All images are copyrighted © Art of Michael Koehler.