Michael Tousana is an up-and-coming musician and artist from Chicago who now resides in Queens, New York. Even though he is no longer in Chicago, his name is still being blown around the Windy City’s underground art and performance world. His work is hard to ignore. Whether it’s pieces like “Radiant Eyes” with vivid tears of color falling or “Higher Reach” which depicts a hand reaching out for something better, his art is more than eye catching. He has shown with the former art collective Chicago Artists Network (CAN), and his pieces have been on display at the Defibrillator in Wicker Park.
Tony Jackson: What is your method?
Michael Tousana: I don’t like to limit myself to just one outlet. When I have a certain vision I just put them together. For the most part I create them threw graphic design, painting or collaging images of my own or ones that I find.
TJ: What types of art do you prefer and who inspires you most?
MT: I like all art as a collective. My favorites as of right now are these series of paintings by Egon Schile and I’m into Ethiopian art and culture. I really like the visuals by Peter Chung on the animated show Aeon Fluex and, of course, Keith Haring. I’m a little reluctant to say that because he’s been really glorified with younger people these days. I feel like they miss the real meaning of his art and like it only because it’s cool to like him.
TJ: You’re not in school and do not have a 9-5 job, so would you consider yourself a starving artist?
MT: I’m not trying to be starving for long. I have an EDT card so that helps a lot, but I do what I can to stay on track. I feel like when I was a student I wasn’t concentrating on my art like I should have been. I was doing it and was invested in it, but I was making just to be making them and not really doing it because I felt like it was something that was incredible. I felt like I was selling out a little bit and making things for people I didn’t put all my heart into. I was just doing it for the quick dollar. I felt like the regular 9 to 5 jobs were just distracting.
TJ: How do you know when an opportunity is right for you?
MT: If it’s something that’s agrees with my morals and I feel that it’s the right way to go, then I just go with that.
TJ: What are your plans and future endeavors as far as your work goes?
MT: I want to solidify my music and push a strong graphic design background. I want both forms of my art to reach as many people as it can. I work hard at what I do and I create beautiful meaningful things, in my opinion, so I want to share that with people. My video from my album is about to go live pretty soon and my art work will be featured in an exhibit at Columbia College soon. I’m excited about that.
See more of Michael Tousana’s work by following his Tumblr, aneducatedguess.net.