Michael De Feo is an American artist based in New York City. He is widely known for his floral paintings and street art which explore themes of ephemerality, growth, and the cycle of life. De Feo's penchant for flowers have earned him the nickname, "The Flower Guy." Michael has been creating works on the streets for close to 30 years in more than 60 cities including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Cabo San Lucas, Amsterdam, Paris, Venice, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong and others.
His work shows a wide range of influences and interests, including universal patterns in nature, improvisation, and the reality of the temporary nature of all things. He often adds his floral-inspired treatments and cascades of multicolored petals to existing printed images from the fashion world and art history/traditional art, which both subverts and celebrates the underlying image. Michael is intrigued by these manufactured versions of beauty and through the action of painting, he reacts to, examines, deconstructs, and transforms each underlying image with his unique flowers. These collage-like interventions are related to his earlier works in the streets of whimsical flowers sprouting on the eunexpected spaces of city walls, bus-stop advertisements, and other surfaces.
Wonderland magazine has written, "De Feo's work contains all the necessary components to make it well and truly groundbreaking." Of Michael's earlier works, Gary Michael Dault of The Globe and Mail said, "De Feo is a fine, inventive colourist, and his self portraits glow with a richness that lends an art-historical stability to their convulsive immediacy."
De Feo's work has appeared in numerous international galleries and museums including The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; MASS MoCA, North Adams, Mass.; Colette, Paris; and the Museo de Arte, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Notable exhibitions include 2005's Two Atmospheres, at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT; 2008's Flowers at Manifesta 7 in Trento, Italy; 2016's solo exhibition at Danziger Gallery, New York; and 2016's Crosstown Traffic, a site-specific installation at Rice Gallery in Houston.
Michael's takeover paintings atop fashion ads and photography have been profiled in The New York Times, VOGUE, Forbes, Paper, i-D, New York Magazine and countless other outlets. Michael has also collaborated with fashion brands including Neiman Marcus, Christian Louboutin, La Mer, MILLY, and J.Crew. Michael regularly supports non-profits such as Friends of the High Line and the Children's Museum of The Arts, both in New York City.
De Feo's work has appeared in a variety of film documentaries including Alice Arnold's To Be Seen (aired on PBS/WNET and screened at The Museum of Modern Art, 2006); and Banksy's Exit Through The Gift Shop: A Banksy Film (Paranoid Pictures, 2010) which was an Academy Award best documentary nominee. De Feo's work has also been featured in over 40 books such as Trespass: A History of Uncommissioned Urban Art by Carlo McCormick, Marc & Sara Schiller, and Ethel Sono (Tachen, 2010); Paris Graffiti by Fabienne Grevy (Edition de La Martiniere, 2008); and Street Art by Duccio Dogheria (Giunti Editori, 2015).
In 2004, Gingko Press published MIchael's first book, Alphabet City: Out on the Streets. This award-winning children's book employs New York City as his canvas, using his paintings glued on the streets of Manhattan to illustrate each letter of the alphabet. An initial review by Newsweek International said, "De Feo's art evokes beauty and optimism with a childlike simplicity while paying homage to gritty Manhattan." Alphabet City continues to be in release and is presently in its fifth printing.
Michael's monograph, Flowers, was published by Abrams Books in April, 2019. This hardcover book documents his flower project from its genesis as a New York City street art project in 1993 up and through his various floral-inspired studio paintings and projects. Michael toured various museums and book shops across America and Europe in support of Flowers.
Michael is the recipient of a Clio Award in Fashion & Beauty, a D&AD award for Magazine Design, two Certificates of Design Excellence from Print Magazine, and the Radius Award from The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.