I was born in Minsk, then the USSR, on a Sunday evening, May 14th, 1972. I lived with my parents and grandparents in typical Soviet housing. We spent many summers out in the country, although my actual memories are of the last two years in the country—when I was 6 & 7 years old—the trips to the summer dacha, the snowfall just before my birthday, big stately Volga automobiles, a month of 1st grade, running away from pre-school and hiding in a grove of willows nearby until grandpa Arkady came looking for me, sneaking cigarettes that some boys stole from their father, watching games of ‘Durak’, my visit to Moscow and Leningrad with my Misha and of course, the truck packing up our belongings to ship them to America.

It was that first trip, from the second world to the first, that set off this adventure which I am still on: I found the taste for food when I ate the chocolate in Vienna, and the taste for art and architecture when we stayed in Rome for a few months.

On February 7th 1980 we arrived in the United States. A few days later, the American ice hockey team defeated the Soviets at Lake Placid. I was ready to switch sides in the cold war—to the winners. Brezhnev was out, Reagan was in. Russian was out, English was to be the new tongue. I set about learning the language as deeply as possible.

The next decade was spent properly—going to school, learning to play hockey, making some money off part time jobs. Our family moved from Chicago to Skokie in 1982, where the homestead stands to this day. In 1990 I graduated from High School, got a passport and went to France for a month. There we lived it up in the little south central French town of Aurillac. I stayed with Pierre Mazieres, the student who was supposed to stay with us when they visited the US earlier in the year. It was my first taste of the traveling life, and I have been hooked on it since.

After a summer with some tired employment in Skokie, I went to Washington University in St. Louis. There I studied classics and intellectual history for a few years. In the summer after my freshman year of college I took a fateful drive with Rob Angert and Dena Aksel to NYC, to visit my future sophomore year roommate, Ed Morfeld. I instantly fell in love with the town and made arrangements to transfer to NYU by my junior year of college. I graduated in 1994 and continue to work and live in the city

Now I reside in my 7th apartment in NYC (Union Square, Sullivan st, 2 on 10th street, Orchard st, 107th st, Suffolk st, and now on Grand st), making art and traveling all over this globe looking for cultural detritus that fuels the art creation.

Today is 07/16/20

©2004-2020 Michael Livshultz