Street artist, muralist, night owl, ex-vandal, skateboarder, writer- those are just a few words to describe well-known Richmond artist Mickael Broth. The 32-year-old literally made his mark in Richmond painting large scale art forms all over this town, from inside and outside of Mellow Mushroom, to 15 bike ramps for this year’s Dominion Riverrock, to a Richmond Kickers mural, even gracing RVA Magazine’s 10th anniversary cover with his colorful, trippy artwork.
Mickael Broth, also known as The Night Owl, is a Richmond, Virginia-based artist, muralist, sculptor, and writer. Mickael moved to Richmond in 2001 with the intention of painting as much graffiti as possible. His involvement in vandalism was halted abruptly with his arrest in 2004 and subsequent ten-month jail term for his crimes. Since that time, he has gone on to pursue an active (and legal) career in the arts. He was awarded a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship in 2008 for his studio work and has shown widely around the United States; from museums and galleries to alternative spaces and abandoned buildings. His work is held in numerous private and corporate collections. He has painted over two hundred public murals throughout Richmond, the United States and Europe since 2012, in addition to helping curate multiple public art festivals. Through his public art work, Mickael has been commissioned by all manner of clients, from small local businesses and nonprofits to municipal governments, museums, and Fortune 500 corporations. He has been an active member of the community, working with youth groups, as well as leading volunteer groups in the creation of collaborative public art projects. Mickael serves on the board of directors for the RVA Street Art Festival and has been instrumental in the curatorial direction of the organization since its formation in 2012. In 2013, he published Gated Community: Graffiti and Incarceration, a memoir detailing his experiences with vandalism and jail. In 2017, he was awarded a commission by the City of Richmond for the creation of an 15’ tall welded aluminum sculpture installed in front of the Hull Street Library in Richmond’s Manchester neighborhood. Mickael’s second published book, Murals of Richmond, which documents Richmond’s public art explosion, was published in November 2018 by Chop Suey Books and quickly sold out of the first printing. Mickael continues to live and work in Richmond, along with his wife and educational activist Brionna Nomi, their son Maverick Rosedale, and their shelter-dog Lil’ Nilla Bean.