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Michael Pellew's Planes, Trains and Automobiles

mp-feat.jpgBrooklyn-based artist Michael Pellew has amassed a devoted following (including Sufjan Stevens, Opening Ceremony, Spike Lee, the editors of Paper magazine) thanks to his signature, squiggly drawings of hilariously grouped-together famous people, and meticulous renderings of buses, trains, and planes. For our Winter Issue travel feature, we commissioned him to create seven of his famous greeting cards, combining his aforementioned two favorite subjects -- celebrities and travel. Pellew is represented by the nonprofit LAND studio in DUMBO, which generates and showcases the art of adults with developmental disabilities. Below, he chats about his drawings. 

How would you describe your project for Paper?
Michael Pellew: Breathtaking. I worked on celebrities in different kinds of transportation.

It seems like this project gave you a chance to combine two of your favorite topics--sort of a perfect storm of Michael Pellew subject matter.

MP: It brought together all my favorite subjects into one bright and sunny place.

And how did you decide which celebrities to include in the drawings?
MP: Magazines and TV shows.

How do you choose to draw Taylor Swift instead of, say, Cher?
MP: I like her music, especially her Christmas album.

So it's not just random celebrities. You choose your subjects because you like their music?
MP: Yeah. While I'm drawing, I think about places to go and people to meet; who I would like to meet.

You go to the LAND studio and work every day. Did working on these drawings feel different in any way?
MP: Working with the deadline made it a little different. There comes a time in life when you want to grow and try something different. This was a challenge.

Why do you think you were chosen for this project?
MP: Because I'm the number-one largest artist of all-time. I'm the Godfather of Art.

We'll be posting more pieces from our Winter Issue travel feature through out the week. You can read about Sasha Grey's trip to Thailand and Germany hereTwilight star Jackson Rathbone's account of being robbed in San Francisco here, Momofuku Milk pastry chef Christina Tosi's 10 traveling rules here, designer Nicola Formichetti's love letter to Ibiza here, London trio Is Tropical's crazy, drunken time in Russia here and video artist Mika Rottenberg and sculptor Jon Kessler's account of going off-off-off-the grid in Botswana here.

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