ReMike, aka Mike Leavitt (born November 4, 1977), is a visual artist most widely known for his "Art Army" series of hand-made action figure toys depicting visual artists, musicians, and entertainers. With his HiPop Project, Leavitt is responsible for a wide variety of fine art and design.
ReMike's HiPop Project threads a needle between art and design. ReMike's infamous quote, 'Living artists are just as good as dead ones', suggests big ambitions. In a world of possibilities 'trust your gut' is ReMike's credo. An intuition kitchen is a metaphor for his creative process. ReMike is a one-man company running on instinct in an isle of Seattle's southern waters known as Vashon. ReMike has gotten busy on a path-less-chosen since quitting Brooklyn's Pratt Institute as a freshman with a 4.0 GPA in 1997. The Empire Peaks are an ambitious array of Gen X imagery. Political-icon Star Wars mash-ups are executed as large scale, hand-carved, articulating wood statues. His Art Army action figures are hand-made one-offs depicting the band of marauding pacifists defending the earth. Spanning a range of historical subjects from Van Gogh to Tupac, ReMike stop-motion animates the articulating figures into movie shorts. The figurative format includes a custom wedding cake topper side-project. His Corrugated Kix and Hip Hopjects are nostalgic throw-backs to 80's ephemera with classic shoes and other accoutrements replicated to exact specifications with cardboard and other such trash found in the street. Penny Places are a series of 'lucky' pennies (U.S. 1-cent coins) found in the street, painted with tiny landscapes of the exact location where the penny was found. As a precursor to his other collectables, ArtCards is ReMike's DIY trading card project that spawned his professional career. Tapping his busking roots ReMike rendered a series of performance-like iterations of ArtCards, street-vending wrapped packs with a crumbly piece of bubble gum.
ReMike's work has been featured in Wired Magazine, CBC Radio, New York Magazine, The Huffington Post, and Los Angeles Magazine. His art is published in Dot Dot Dash (Gestalten Press), Toy Design (Braun), and periodicals from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Italy, Australia, Russia and Brazil. Leavitt is represented by Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York. ReMike comes from a conceptual art background. Many generations of interactive performance art and installations evolved early in his career. A concern for craft and hard labor has served ReMike in several self-designed architectural projects, including a set of "Portable Homeless Shelters" built from recycled materials used in the Seattle area since 2001. Whether it's painstakingly detailed objects or industrial-grade design, ReMike's always busy cooking up fresh icons.
Pratt Institute, New York
B.A., Evergreen State College
2004 Roq La Rue Gallery, Seattle
2005 Copro Gallery, Los Angeles
2007 Copro Gallery, Los Angeles
2007 ShowroomNYC, New York
2007 Gallery 1988, Los Angeles
2009 Stolen Space Gallery, London
2009 Fuse Gallery, New York
2011 Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York
2013 Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York