You most likely are familiar with the artist known as Porkchop from his compelling murals in downtown Asbury Park and on the waterfront, however he is so much more than that dynamic work.

Porchop (aka Michael Lavallee) sees a unique vibrancy in the world.  The textures and power of his multi-media birds and flies as well as the strong and seductive soul of the women with flowing hair he shares with us on canvas hold a custom-controlled energy.

Viewers are challenged.  There is a feeling that if you look too long, you will feel too much.  Is that a bad thing?  Find out for yourself – his current joint show is on until November 24 at Parlor Gallery on Cookman Avenue.

I spoke with Porkchop last week…

This is one of 40 pieces by Porkchop, featured in a new show at Parlor Gallery on Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park.

TBP:  You and the excessively talented and beautiful Jill Ricci named this exhibition “Salvation.”

Porkchop:  A lot of the works in the show are revised from earlier works.  Wings made from wood were applied to a painting I did a few years ago.  I saw the piece as bigger than it was the first time.  Most of the pieces have been made fresh, kind of saving them and giving them another life.

The painting “Horus” is a revisited story, told in a new way.  It still has the original story but I painted something new over it that compliments the old.  So the stories combine to create a completely different piece.

For another three dimensional piece I took eight sea horses that I made of plaster a few years ago and brought them together to make one fish.

Jill and I work a lot together and the result is an exhibition that compliments very well.

TBP:  I see your work evolving into very exceptional art over the past couple of years.

Porkchop:  I have been painting since I was a kid.  In college, my first commissioned jobs were friends paying me to paint the backs of their jean jackets.  Around that time, art became an outlet for me emotionally.

In the past, I would plan out every part of the painting or sculpture before I actually began to work on it, so the actual creation of the piece was more mechanical.  I was darker.  I was in a different head space.  Today, I am more settled – I let things go more.  The pieces are still planned but I let the ideas flow.  I allow myself the creative as its happening.

There is a box in the show that I created lettering for.  I knew what I wanted but created the 12 letters while I was doing it, which took hours.  I was painting the same 12 letters, as some would say a mantra or a rosary, over and over again.

Being a sculptor, I look at figures and ideas with a 360 degree view.  I am inspired by Pedro Paolo Jacometti, Gian Lorenzo Bernini and street artist David Choe.  Every shape and form is unique and creates a connection.  Before I paint, I think for hours or days about how I would sculpt it and then translate that onto the canvas.

TBP:  Maybe that is why, in one piece you painted, I thought the woman’s eyes were a photograph.  They were so real.

Porkchop:  I hope I reach people in some way with my art and that they get something out of it.  If you come to this show and feel something, then I did my job.

More about “Salvation” at Parlor-Gallery.com.  More from TheBPlot about Parlor Gallery by clicking here.