Tiger’s Colorful Art and Life

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If you walk into the Vintage Wine Bar (1790 Market St.) anytime between now and Aug. 29, you’re going to notice an explosion of color on the walls. This month’s exhibit features the paintings of Tiger Joe Michiels, whose paintings are a colorful reflection of his vibrant life.

Michiels was born and raised in Hollywood and literally partied with rock stars as a young man — the Beatles, Donovan, Frank Zappa. He rode motorcycles with Steve McQueen and “The Great Escape” stuntman Bud Ekins.

He spent decades traveling throughout the world with his company, Michiels International Inc., which provided and facilitated building products for foreign companies. He also lived and worked on ranches throughout the West. He rode the Magdalena Trail in New Mexico.

And these things, he explains, are just the tip of the iceberg.

“I grew up in Hollywood, this cataclysmic epicenter of culture, but also lived where there are no telephones and no electricity,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate to experience two completely different sides of life.”


Michiels created most of the vibrant paintings on display at Vintage (a stop on tomorrow’s 2nd Saturday Art Hop) between 2000 and 2009. He started drawing in high school, influenced by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and Von Dutch (Kenny Howard), icon hot rod artists whom he still credits as inspirations.

A self-taught artist, Michiels often starts with a realistic image in his head, but almost never finishes there. His work includes wild, almost maniacal mask-like faces, odes to favorite haunts like the Sunset Grill on Sunset Strip, and Jack’s Grill steakhouse in Redding.

A reception for Michiels’ show will take place at 6 p.m. at Vintage on Tuesday (Aug. 11). The reception is free, and an optional $5 per person wine tasting event will benefit the Sundial Film Festival. There will be music by Abigail Live.

If you attend, be sure to ask Michiels about sleeping in trees during a cattle drive. It sounds like it’s one of about a million great stories from his colorful life.


is a journalist who focuses on arts, entertainment, music and the outdoors. He is a songwriter and leader of the Jim Dyar Band. He lives in Redding and can be reached at jimd.anewscafe@gmail.com
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8 Responses

  1. Avatar Troy Hawkins says:

    Some people live life.

    Others let it pass them by.

    Not Tiger — he is a grab the bull by the horns just to see what the hell happens type of a guy.

    Adam and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Tiger and his lovely wife, Suzie. I see Tiger as an inspiration to artists. He has left convention in the dust and forged ahead creating amazingly alive, vivid images that, whether you like them or not make you stop and contemplate them and their maker. I rarely suggest one ArtHop location over another but sometime this month you MUST get to Vintage.

  2. Avatar Gwen & Gene Knae says:

    Tiger – Congratulations!

    Your art hung by Troy and Adam will be a show stopper. We have been waiting for you to have a one person art exhibition in Redding for a long time.

    See you on Tuesday night at The Vintage to congratulate you in person, enjoy your dynamic art and support the benefit for the Sundial Film Festival.

    Gwen & Gene Knaebel

  3. Avatar Joanne Lobeski Snyde says:

    I loved the show (at Art Hop this evening) but didn't get to meet the artist. I DID get to hear a superb jazz band at Vintage. Great article, Jim.

  4. Avatar Katherine Michiels says:

    It is so great to learn of this show and read everyone's comments. Tiger's art is an experience I love, appreciate and will always enjoy. Can't wait to get to Redding to see the show. Congratulations, Tiger! I am sure there are many more shows to follow. Your baby sister.

  5. Avatar Leo Arendt says:


    Congratulations on the show, sorry we are not able to make it to Redding for this event. Another chapter in you exciting life. It always makes me prowd to show off and say that I have a "Tiger Michaels" hanging in my living room. Thanks again for the experiance of knowing and sharing your life's experiances with us.

    Love to you and Suzie

    Leo and Brenda Arendt

  6. Avatar Gwen Knaebel says:

    On Art Hop night I was at Pio Loco showing with “The Artists”. Chef Jeff served a Taco Bar Buffett to the Art Hop guests upstairs and featured a lively program by expert belly dancers downstairs.

    Everyone who came in was having a wonderful evening out on the town and had great comments about all of art they had seen. Several were very excited about Tiger’s show at The Vintage – I can’t wait to see it!

  7. Avatar rachel says:

    Papa T.,
    We are thrilled for you!
    Bill, Rachel, Aaron & Livi

  8. Avatar Janice Powell says:

    I tried to hit as many ARTHOP stops as I could Saturday, but missed Pio Loco! The band was fantastic at Vintage, and it seems I always see someone that I know there (great job Janice!). I'm going to try to make it tonight for the fundraiser and get another chance to check out Tiger's art.

    Many thanks to everyone out there who puts so much effort into making Redding a "happening place" to be!