Mike Stead (aka Mike Bliss)
was born in Hartlepool in 1976 to an army family. He inherited
from his Mother & Father a strong work ethic and morality
that has produced a prolific and dedicated artist. He spent his
childhood in places like Bangkok, Hong Kong, London & Germany.
He has always drawn & painted. He was a painfully shy child
who invented his own world to escape into, drawing beautiful people
to be his play mates.
He moved to London in the summer of 2002 after a serious gay
bashing incident in Hartlepool. He decided that he could either
be a victim or refuse to allow the brutality of the attack to
dictate his future. He bought a one way ticket and got off the
bus in Victoria with £50 in his pocket and nowhere permanent
to live. This was nearly seven years ago. From then to now Mike
has managed to exhibit all over London from Cork Street to Covent
Garden as well as at the Adonis Art Gallery. He works on his portfolio
as well as undertaking private commissions - a testament to his
dedication, hard work & self belief.
Mike studied fashion in Edinburgh and this design background
is evident in the illustrative nature of his work, also providing
him with an ability to understand that being a good artist is
rarely enough to be successful: you also need to be able to sell
yourself and know your audiences' tastes and needs.
Mikesbliss first exhibited at the Adonis Art Gallery in 2006.
That exhibition explored very different themes to this one, such
as happiness, love, hope & well being. The present exhibition
is the exact opposite, dealing. with grief, loss, heartbreak &
The seeds of this radical departure was what can only be described
as a nervous breakdown. The shift in subject matter was necessary
to visualise the battle to regain his mental health. His life
was drained of colour so he extracted it from his palette too.