In October, the New York artist will return to The City, where he lived for nine years, after being chosen as the exclusive artist to design the Castro Street Fair logo and to sell limited-edition T-shirts from his collection.
What has inspired your art recently? My biggest inspiration right now is vintage cartoons and I would say the Dutch masters, like Rembrandt. I thought it would be cool if I started taking pictures of vintage cartoons on TV … and juxtapose them with classical traditional paintings that I love.
How did it feel to leave San Francisco for New York? I was on top of a very successful painting career and had sold everything I owned. I gave up my life there and started again in New York, at the bottom of the barrel. It's taken me 10 years to break in.
How did it feel to be selected to design the Castro Street Fair logo? I thought it was very cool. It’s going to be nice to come home again because San Francisco was where I had my coming of age. I will be able to meet up with all my old friends and show everyone my new stuff.
What do you miss about San Francisco? This is going to sound trite, but the whole nine years I lived there was magical. Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of the City” series was spot on. It’s just a San Francisco experience to the tee.
— Mike Aldax