Greg Mike, born Gregory Michael Mensching, is a graffiti artist who has been painting murals and street art since the age of 13. Famous today for his creation of the Loudmouf Icon that appears on the Atlanta Phoenix basketball court and for being the founder of the ABV Gallery. This is, as its website explains, “an experiential marketing agency, design studio, and contemporary art gallery founded by Greg Mike and based in Atlanta, GA.”
The gallery is a creative powerhouse specializing in “translating the visions and desires of our clients into striking visuals, installations, and experiences. From design to fabrication, we create unique and engaging work that stands out amongst the competition.”
Yet, this is not where Greg Mike’s career ends. Instead, the gallery has become a channel through which he can continue to reinvent public spaces through art and design. As the biography about him at his website explains, he was always “obsessed with the boundless energy and crisp line work of iconic American mid-century cartoons.”
He channeled his adoration of this artform into murals painted throughout his teen years. He then became immersed in the skate culture, and this easily overlapped with its design ambitions. Today, he is noted for “pieces that incorporate vivid explosions of incandescent color filtered through a Surrealist Pop Art perspective. Populated by gleefully twisted characters, his world is unsettling, mischievous and uniquely captivating.”
Art by Greg Mike
When asked about some of his most familiar images, such as the Loudmouf icon, he explained that he had “always been intrigued with art as a form of communication and liked how the loudmouth visually created noise without having to say a word at all. It's loud only if you notice it.” He began passing out stickers to his friends and they began using them in their photos. Soon, he began receiving images of “sightings” of his icon from all parts of the world.
Greg Mike's Loudmouf Icon
When asked if he still feels that he is part of the street art scene, he says that it heavily informs his work, and that “It was something that became an addiction at age 12. The relationship that was formed by painting walls and getting up was one that was so impactful it has changed my life and pushed me in the path I am in now. For me, it has been a representation of freedom, youth, and creativity -- three things I don't ever want to live without. Simple reminders that I'm actually alive. As for the work, the bright color and line work have their roots from street art and graffiti, which I feel is apparent in the work.”
He emphasizes that collaboration is really one of his most desirable paths and points out that his ABV gallery is all about that, and is a “space that could have everything under one roof. A place to have gallery exhibitions with my work and other artists, pop up shops and a place for us to work from.”
At ABV Gallery, the team provides everything from consulting and branding, to murals and art direction. Clients range from Adidas and Absolut to Bud Light, Delta, Epic Records, and scores of other global brands. So, the pop art and graffiti-inspired work that brought Greg Mike to his celebrity status has proven itself an authentic connection to popular culture. It drives campaigns and products and even appears on streetwear, footwear, and other garments thanks to the ABV Gallery work.
Greg Mike is still doing private work, having gallery shows, and experimenting, and remains an inspiring figure in contemporary and abstract art. As a pioneer, he continues to innovate and nurtures the growth of contemporary artists and designers.
Eventbrite Graffiti by Greg Mike