Space of the Week: Getting Inspired

I recently paid a studio visit to mixed-media artist M P Landis, who inhabits an old candy factory in Clinton Hill. I had never seen a tin façade on anything but ceilings. Here, the original tin skin of the walls and even doors is largely intact. Photo: Wendy Goodman

There is a lot to take in before you even reach his front door”like the entrance here to his landlady’s apartment with doors from her collection of hundreds she’s amassed through the years. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Here were are inside Michael’s 400-square-foot studio. The sign is from the last show he had at M55 Art in Long Island City in 2009. Photo: Wendy Goodman

I was struck by this fantastic painting that Michael just finished for a show that will be presented in London at the A.K. Lambert Gallery later this year. “I painted this to the music of David S. Ware,” he explains. Photo: Wendy Goodman

The studio walls are covered with his recent work; select pieces can be found at David Cafiero’s new East Village gallery. Michael’s art is collaborative in that he has done paintings onstage to live music and also works with writers and other visual artists. Jazz musician Marc Ribot was playing the day of my visit. Photo: Wendy Goodman

I was particularly intrigued by this exquisite series of “Warehouse Drawings,” which he refers to as W.D.’s. These start out as folded pieces of paper that Michael carries around in his pocket, featuring the date and “daily minutiae.” He then paints and draws over them, he explains, “in response to whatever is happening in and outside of my studio.” His W.D. series, he says, “has become my most important body of work. They are artifacts of my process of transforming the overstimulation of modern urban life into something simpler, direct, and emotional, while still showing the layers of the process.” The paintings are numbered in chronological order starting with No. 1, which was created in 1996. “I have made over 5,700 as of today,” Michael wrote in an e-mail on March 5. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Michael showed me how they are made: on rectangular pieces of wood that serve as easels. Photo: Wendy Goodman

This perfect little still life, on a shelf by the window, is composed of rocks Michael found in Fort Greene Park and a piece of painted wood from an art installation. The coiled extension cord, believe it or not, is actually not an art piece. Photo: Wendy Goodman

This piece is totally fascinating to me for a lot of reasons, but first and foremost because I had no idea you could send a block of wood in the mail and it would actually get delivered. But the story here is that Michael and another artist would send these back and forth to each other as part of an art project with notes on the reverse. Michael will be discussing his practice and conducting a workshop, “Everything Is Teacher: Finding Inspiration Everywhere,” at the Brooklyn Workshop Gallery (393 Hoyt St., nr. 3rd St., Carroll Gardens) March 16 and 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Space of the Week: Getting Inspired