One of our favorite lowbrow artists, Mike “Pooch” Pucciarelli, will be hosting a showing of his recent prints next Tuesday (July 26) at one of our favorite retro restaurants – Howley’s diner in West Palm Beach.
The show, titled “View the Pooch,” will run from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. and will also feature live music from South Florida blues guitarist J.P. Soars. Howley’s has a full bar featuring beer, wine and cocktails plus an extensive menu of diner classics.
Pooch is well-established as one of the most talented artists in South Florida and continues to branch out and establish himself throughout the greater art world. As owner/operator and chief artist at Altered State Tattoo in Lake Worth since 1996, he’s long been the go-to guy in South Florida if you’re looking for one-of-a-kind, eye-popping ink. Pooch’s award-winning tattoo work is known for its rich color and incredible detail. His work has been featured in many tattoo publications, such as Tattoo Society and International Tattoo Art.
In 2000, Pooch started painting in oil and acrylic, feeding off an obsession with dark rides and roller coasters. He created a series of surreal paintings based on theme park rides, incorporating cultural symbols such as the Mexican Day of the Dead and Polynesian Tikis. He has since branched out into other dark topics, always with a sly sense of humor lurking beneath his elaborate works. Pooch’s paintings have been shown at galleries such as Roq La Rue in Seattle, Copro Nason in Southern California, and Last Rites New York City.
His tattoo work doesn’t allow him as much time as he’d like to pursue fine art, but he has still cranked out an amazing array of paintings over the years. And Pooch isn’t shy about taking his talents to other media, such as skateboards and guitars. Pooch has also released an on-demand book, The Art Of Pooch Island, a collection of paintings including close-up images of larger works, tattoo photos, digital art and works in progress. You can also purchase prints and posters on Pooch’s Web site.
Pooch recently completed his first large commissioned work, a 4-by-5-foot painting for legendary graffiti artist Seen. “Seen Land” is in the style of Pooch’s early works and features the New York City graffiti master riding a coaster in front of a tattoo shop. A self-taught artist, Pooch owes much of his painting skills to years of daily tattooing and drawing.
Tuesday’s special musical guest is one of South Florida’s most recognized blues artists. J.P. Soars has also gained fame outside the area as winner of the Albert King award for best guitarist at the 2009 International Blues Challenge, followed by appearances at blues festivals across the nation. His new album, More Bees With Honey, is garnering rave reviews for its traditional approach and guitar showmanship. Soars also has a personal connection to Pooch: They were both members of the popular early ’90s metal band Raped Ape.
Howley’s is an authentic mid-century classic, opened in 1950 by Patrick J. Howley. It was purchased by South Florida restaurant/nightclub mogul Rodney Mayo in 2004 and restored to its original splendor, along with a few modern touches that Mayo and his restaurants are known for (Yelp calls the ambience “hipster”). Local artists are given wall space to showcase their talents and shows such as this one are held on a regular basis.
Howley’s is at 4700 S. Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach, between Forest Hill and Southern boulevards.