Alan Michael was born in 1967; he studied at the Glasgow School of Art in his hometown of Glasgow, Scotland, where he continues to live and work to this day.

Michael's almost photographically precise paintings evoke a preoccupation with the glossy surfaces of advertising, combined with reference to various art historical movements - juxtaposing both ‘high’ and ‘low’ cultural and consumer images in a productive and sometimes problematic way. Michael continually plays with the lineages of the artistic canon and the referentiality of images, interrogating the power structures and hierarchies found within narratives of art and culture.

Notable exhibitions include Space Oddity, CCA Andratx, Mallorca, Spain; BigMinis: Fetishes of Crisis, CAPC, Museum of Contemporary Art, Bordeaux, France; Depression, Marmes Centre for Contemporary Culture, Maastricht, Netherlands; The Associates, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, UK; and The Tate Triennial, Tate Britain, London. In 2008 he was the subject of Mood: Casual, a solo exhibition at Tate Britain, and Touch Void, a solo exhibition at the Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh. Other recent solo shows include exhibitions at HOTEL Gallery, London, and at Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland in 2014.