Michael “Ol Skool” Mucker has opened a new exhibition of his work entitled “The Unrefined Collection” at the TSU Avon Williams Campus Library. The collection is a new cycle of works that were inspired by the questions and actions of one of Michael’s students, as depicted in his 2012 painting entitled Farther. He realized that these African American youth were diamonds in the rough, that they were unrefined treasures. A reception and gallery talk were held at the library on Friday, March 31, attended by many local art luminaries, including two of his mentors, James Threalkill and Michael McBride.
Michael “Ol Skool” Mucker has been creating artwork as far back as he can remember. He knew from the early age of five that he wanted to create. As the son of an artist, Mike possesses a natural talent and passion for fine art. Despite the fact that he routinely failed art classes while in school, he continued to work on his craft.
Growing up during the Golden Age of Hip Hop, graffiti became one of his artistic pastimes that allowed creative freedom. He made a transition from spray cans to airbrushing at the age of 17. Self-taught with no formal artistic training, his experience with a spray can helped develop his skills with the airbrush quickly.
Amazingly, Mike is self-taught and has no formal artistic training. His perseverence and love for art pushed his desire to learn. From this dedication, he was able to build a career for himself, working and owning airbrush shops in several cities where he has resided.
After returning home from military duty in Operation Desert Storm, he moved to Tennessee and back to his art to express himself by experimenting in a variety of mediums, including graphic design and animation, automotive painting, commercial and residential murals, textured artwork on canvas, and most recently, body art and tattooing.
Mike’s artwork can and has been seen all over Nashville and surrounding areas. Kung Fu Coffee at the corner of 4th Ave and I-65 housed a larger than life Bruce Lee, for which the coffee house has become noted. Mike has participated in several projects with local talent all over the Nashville area, and he has exhibited his work in galleries, museums, and cultural centers throughout Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana. In addition, Mike’s paintings are in numerous private collections.
A devoted father of three, one son and two daughters, Mike does what he loves most, creating and teaching his craft at Plaza Artist Materials, continuing his unique canvas collections and tattooing at One Drop Ink Tattoo Studio and Gallery.
For more information about Mike, please visit worksofmike.com
“The Unrefined Collection” – Michael Mucker in his own words
Out of the mouth of babes… & A Tribe Called Quest lyric…
“There has always been an interest of mine to understand the words from children, since they see things so differently than adults. The very act of identifying the terms “Children” and “Adult” implies an unavoidable collision of values. Our experiences in these conversations are never free of cultural, historical, or personal mythologies.
“These multiple perspectives are in constant battle, resulting in an understanding and relationship to past, present, and future self. The youth is eagerly looking forward to gaining knowledge of the future, while the elders look back and share wisdom from the past.”