Artist Portfolio: Michael Tunk
San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA
The cover artist for Kolaj #18 is the hardworking, prolific Michael Tunk. While we selected a detail of the luscious Tigress for the cover, Tunk’s more recent work, featured as an artist porfolio in the magazine, explores imagery of cowboys.
The cowboy is an odd topic for a child of the Chicago suburbs who now makes his home in the San Francisco Bay area. Cowboys are “something I know through and through ever since I was a child watching movies with my grandfather” said Tunk. “I love how mysterious they are. It’s a part of American culture and history that isn’t really known due to how crazy the wild west was.”
About Michael Tunk
(courtesy of the artist)
Michael Tunk has been translating the world around him into art since he was a prepubescent troublemaker growing up in the slums of Warrenville, Illinois. While others were studying and preparing themselves for a lifetime of sanitary monotony, Li’l Tunk had his head deep into his Mead spiral notebooks scribbling out the dreams flittering through his ponderer. Faced with a turbulent tomorrow in the knee-killing cold of the MidWest, ol’ Michael Tunk relocated to the island of Alameda, California, where everything is beautiful and safe. You hear me, you’re safe America, go to sleep.
Michael Tunk takes photographs and magazines from the 1800s-1980s and re-contextualizes them into something beautiful. He takes refused detritus and spins a yarn of gold. He takes the weight from a hoarders home and fixes it into aesthetic candy. His pieces are never Photoshopped, he uses only Xacto blades and what’s left of the bones in his wrists. Buy now before carpal tunnel grinds his hands to an octogenarian pugilist’s paws.
The Neon Cowboy in Death Canyon (14″x11″; analogue collage; 2016)
The Neon Cowboy After this nothing else matters (14″x11″; analogue collage; 2016)
Tigress (detail) (cut paper collage; 2015)