By Jarred De Palo/Photos courtesy of Mike Giant
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There’s a Giant in Boulder! And his name is Mike. Colorado has welcomed Mike Giant with open arms since he made the move to our sunny state. 1/1 Magazine recently had the opportunity to meet the well-established artist at one of his excellent “Social Sundays,” a regular event he hosts at Madelife in Boulder. The theme: BMX “Bunny Hop” contest!
As we walked in through Madelife (a beautiful shop/gallery/creative space in Boulder) and made our way to the back, the atmosphere was energetic, to say the least: people enjoying art from numerous local artists in the shop, the DJ on the one’s and two’s, the photo booth flashing like a strobe light, and a full-on BMX freestyle session going on out back in the private parking lot. What an amazing experience! After hanging out at the show for a while, the longtime artist/graffiti writer/tattooer/owner of Rebel 8 Clothing agreed to answer a few questions, and this is what he had to say!

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1/1: Why Boulder? What was the appeal for you to move to Colorado?

MG: I’ve been visiting Boulder since the early ’90s and always liked it.  After living in big cities all over the world most of my life, I started to yearn for nature and a quieter environment.  When I started to think about where to go, Colorado and upstate New York were my first choices.  I have some old friends in Boulder and after visiting a few times over last winter I decided to make the move in April.  I found a great little house on the edge of town, and I’m very happy.  Thus far the biggest draws for me have been the weather, the bicycling network, the cannabis, and access to organic food.

1/1:  What do you think of the art scene in Boulder/Denver?

MG: It’s about what I expected.  Not much is happening in Boulder, which is fine.  The Denver art scene has a lot more going on for sure.  I’ve seen some really great shows at tiny little galleries and the big museums alike.

1/1:  Are there any local artists that have caught your eye? Or any shows that you have been to that you enjoyed?  Artists, BMX riders, tattooers, skaters, graf writers?  

MG: I’ve met some really talented folks in all those fields at my monthly party in Boulder.  They are out there.  I can’t say anyone specifically has knocked my socks off, but at 43 years old I think it’s gotten harder to impress me.

1/1:  How do you think Denver received/reacted to your recent show at Black Book?

MG: It was great!  Plenty of people came down to see the show.  The gallery sold all the art.  No complaints from me.  Thanks, Denver!

1/1:  How are your Sunday Socials going? Where can people find out about upcoming events?

MG: They’ve been fun.  We’ve got a great group of locals that come every time and we’re always trying to organize events that will bring more young people into our scene.  You can check my blog on REBEL8.com for details about upcoming events and as well through our host for the socials, Madelife.

1/1:  Rebel8. What’s the concept behind the brand? 

MG: At base, we just make clothes we’d like to wear.  At the deepest level, REBEL8 is a vehicle for spreading information about the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path.

1/1:  Why did you retire from tattooing? The world wants to know!

MG: It hurts my body:  my hands, elbows, shoulders, neck, back, guts.  It’s the hardest thing I know how to do.  I just couldn’t continue doing it full-time if I want to be able to draw into old age.

1/1:  If you have 5 minutes with one person in the world, who would it be?

MG: Oprah.

1/1: What shows do you have scheduled in the near future?

MG: My next show is at FFDG in San Francisco in Feb.  That’s all I got planned right now.

1/1: B.P.S. – What comes to mind? Go! 

MG: Bullets Per Second?

1/1:  Anything you need to get off your chest right now?

MG: Watch “Zeitgeist.”  It pretty much sums up the stuff I might need to get off my chest.

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