Heavily inspired by comic books, a love for heavy music and an unbelievable appetite for pizza, Michael Hacker makes the funniest art. Many people might know Michael Hacker´s screen printed gig posters for bands such as Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, Green Day, Kvelertak, Dinosaur Jr., Mastodon and The Melvins. His ‘Brainwashing machine’ went viral on the internet worldwide and he is currently working on his cartoon book ’Pizzeria Disgusto’.
Michael is in his basement studio in Berlin surrounded by tons of drawings, comic books and a budgie called Bobby, High on Fire is playing while he takes the time to answer some of our questions.
Q. Michael, we´ve seen your gig posters, your pizza book, your brainwashing machine etc. How would you describe what it is you do exactly?
I draw. Sometimes these drawings are illustration, sometimes comic pages, sometimes screen prints and sometimes I even draw on a washing machine. No matter what medium I use I always try to tell a story or at least have some form of narration in my artwork. That’s mostly because I was (and still am to this day) heavily influenced and inspired by comic books.
Q. Tell us a bit more about your gig posters, do the bands ask you to make them or do you initiate it yourself? Which band is on the top of your wish-list?
It depends. Sometimes bands or their management ask me to do a poster for a particular show and sometimes I contact the bands myself. Mostly for shows in Vienna. The band always sees the design before I start printing. So my posters are always officially approved by the band. I’m very happy that I’ve worked for some of my very favourite bands like Kvelertak, Black Cobra, High On Fire, The Melvins, Municipal Waste and many more. There are definitely some bands on my wish-list. Like Anthrax, Sleep, Ghost or Primus. Sometimes I have a certain idea for a certain band and it takes years before I get to contact them and design the actual poster…
Q. How did you come up with the brainwashing machine?
Back in 2012 the world was considered to end. So some friends of mine organized a huge end-of-the-world-themed group exhibition in Vienna. First of all I wanted to make some kind of installation and secondly I did not believe in the predicted end of our world. I thought we are all just being brainwashed. So I painted a self portrait of me on an old washing machine, added some detergents like “Panic Oxi”, “Medial Color” and “Cerebral Soft” as well as a drying rack full of (brain)washed clothes with just a sock left in the machine…
Q. Can you reveal any super secret projects you are working on?
I just can tell you that it’s going to be some kind of superhero comic book. I had the idea for this story almost ten years now. It’s really time that I make it come to life…
Q. Where can we see your art?
You can visit my webpage or one of my social media sites. If you ever visit Vienna you can go to Brauhund – a local beer bar decorated with a lot of my gig posters. Or you can go to Rabbit Eye Movement art space where some of my prints are on display as well.
Q. We are loving your upcoming pizza book, can you tell us how this came to life? The crowdfunding closed, can people still get their hands on an issue once it´s done?
Thanks a lot. That’s awesome to hear! There will be a release show at Rabbit Eye Movement in Vienna (and perhaps a couple of other cities) this fall. After that “Pizzeria Disgusto” will be available in my online store and in selected (comic) book stores around the globe.
Q. In your crowdfunding campaign one package included a unique brush made out of your own moustache, did anyone buy it?
Unfortunately not during the campaign. But I fell in love with the idea of making a brush out of my moustache. So I decided to make the “Brushtache” anyway and just shaved off my facial hair a couple of days ago.
Q. Is there an upcoming cultural event which you are excited about
I’m looking forward to attending this year’s “Isolation Camp” – a regular gathering of artists from different genres in some remote hut in the Austrian alps for one or two weeks. One of the goals is to collaborate with other people instead of just working on your own. And the outcome of these collaborations is always very inspiring and refreshing. https://www.facebook.com/IsolationCamp/
More link to Michael’s work: