Michael Roy AKA BIRDCAP
Michael Roy, a.k.a. Birdcap, grew up near the bayous of southern Mississippi, on America’s verdant “third coast”, a region battered by hurricanes and scarred by a violent, racist political history. Roy studied painting at Memphis College of Art, but got his start as a muralist when he left the south and moved halfway across the world, where he became a part of the thriving street art scene in Seoul, South Korea. The character of “Birdcap” was born in South Korea. In the past decade, Birdcap’s career as a muralist has spanned continents, but the artist’s work is a product of the south, both a love letter to the region he calls home and a challenge to its problems. Birdcap works in a style equally steeped in Saturday morning cartoons and history paintings. He creates densely colored scenes that slide between references to Jim Henson and the Crossing of the Delaware. Using a vocabulary of fantastic shapes that make a Birdcap mural identifiable across the world, the artist takes up deeply personal subjects such as grief and loss, tackles political anxieties, and traverses a contemporary landscape both absurdly beautiful and troubled.