Street Artist Greg Mike opening new ABV Gallery space in East Atlanta Village

Greg Mike credits his entrepreneurial drive and work ethic to his father, a set designer for Broadway plays.

“I grew up and witnessed his struggle of starting businesses and watching them fail and him starting over and over from scratch and never giving up,” Mike recalls. “I remember seeing his building burn down once, leaving him nothing and having to build projects in our front yard and covering them with tarps every night because that was the only option.”

Lessons learned from dad resulted in ABV Agency, a multi-platform creative studio specializing in graphic design, street art and public art, custom mural installations, art direction and more. OuterSpace Project, an event series merging public art, live music, design, action sports and culture which has produced over 100+ murals throughout Atlanta since launching in 2015. ABV Gallery featuring both emerging and established artists with a focus on the New Contemporary movement.

Mike (b. 1982; Danbury, CT) founded them all while still finding time to establish himself as one of the leading street artists and muralists in America, best known for his Larry Loudmouf character. He has produced murals for the Atlanta Beltline, Wynwood Walls, Cincinnati’s Blink Festival, and the Denver Walls festival.

The people he’s surrounded himself with allow him to pursue all of these passions.

“My studio team is constantly helping make sure I hit deliverables and holding me accountable for things I say I want to do and my wild ideas. I’m a firm believer that teamwork makes the dream work and I am nothing without my team,” Mike said. “I spend most of my time creating art, but I am forever passionate about bringing the art community together to celebrate and support it. There’s nothing that I love more than getting a few hundred people together to enjoy the arts.”

Mike, who lives in Atlanta, will be able to do that better than ever before when ABV Gallery moves into a new 8,500-square-foot space in East Atlanta Village July of 2024. The former church on Metropolitan Avenue has been renovated and converted into a contemporary art gallery, event space, art studio, and retail store and will debut with a retrospective of 15 years of Mike’s artwork.

Greg Mike – Artist

Greg Mike Wynwood Walls mural.
Greg Mike Wynwood Walls mural. Courtesy Greg Mike.

Dad inspired Greg Mike the entrepreneur, skateboarding inspired Greg Mike the artist.

“When I started skateboarding it naturally turned me into an urban explorer. I remember seeking out skate spots in abandoned buildings and warehouses,” Mike said. “This is where I first ran into graffiti in its natural habitat.

Skating not only took Mike to where he would discover himself as an artist, the Powell-Peralta skateboard deck graphics influenced what would become his visual aesthetic. Gnarly, sinister, skulls and snakes and dragons and swords – just the thing parents hate and rebellious teens love. Skate deck graphics from the 80s and 90s don’t receive their due credit as artworks and influencers of American visual culture.

“I loved the illustrations on skate decks; they just felt like things we had never seen at the time. These were the days where everything was done by hand – hand drawn, hand colored, hand screen printed. You could just look and see and feel that in the quality of the work,” Mike explains. “Everything is very processed these days with computers, AI, and mass production and the internet and at times feels too polished – nothing better than a hand drawing or a homemade zine, that’s what it’s all about.”

Skate decks combined with comics, mid-century cartoons – Woody Woodpecker, Looney Toones, and the original Disney characters – and the graffiti of his skating environment encouraged him to give it a try. He was hooked immediately.

“Graffiti at the time was highly addictive for me and I loved the adrenaline rush,” Mike remembers. “That led me to larger productions and commissions on walls for street art festivals. It’s been a snowball effect, and the rest is history.”

Mike has painted murals in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and the Swiss Alps. His studio work is on view in galleries and museums. Justin Bieber and Swizz Beatz collect his work. Swizz Beatz is one of the most highly respected collectors of contemporary art in the world.

Notable clients have included Nike, Coca-Cola, Facebook, Google, Spotify, BMW, and the Atlanta Braves.

Operating with the artistic mantra of “Live Life Loud,” Mike hopes to inspire positivity, nostalgia, and happiness through his work – the same emotions he feels when producing.

“There’s no better feeling than working with spray paint. I think that’s what draws so many artists to the medium. It’s fast, exhilarating, and painting on a large scale is both challenging and rewarding,” Mike said. “I love seeing color in the streets, and murals on blank walls just seem to jump out and come alive and really captivate viewers more than a canvas can in a gallery or museum. It brings me back to the feeling of painting graffiti in my childhood days and a period of my life I really enjoyed.”

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