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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007, 12:41 GMT 13:41 UK
Art explosion from musical Mika
By Nicola Dann
Entertainment reporter

Mika
Mika says he has always drawn sketches to accompany his songs

Chart-topper Mika, who designs his singles and album artwork, has gone one step further by staging an exhibition of his art.

"Would you like a lollipop?" asks a girl sporting a pink and white dress - her hands full of sweets.

Welcome to Mika's world. For the next few days at least, that world has transformed a gallery in central London.

Everywhere you look, colour cascades from windows, doors, walls and ceilings. At its heart is Mika's artwork - original paintings, sketches and drawings, all framed and waiting for inspection.

"The one thing that I said I wanted, was to be able to eat the walls and that's exactly how I feel," he says.

Mika first came to our attention in January when he was named best new talent in the BBC News website's Sound of 2007 music poll.

'Visual world'

Mika
It's a visual world to step into and to have fun and to play with
Mika
His hit single Grace Kelly subsequently went to the top of the singles chart on downloads alone.

Since then his debut album, Life in Cartoon Motion, has gone double platinum, selling more than two million copies worldwide.

For Mika, his artwork is just an extension of his music. The two go hand-in-hand. Colourful, flamboyant but above all else fun - and that's the way he wants it to stay.

"When I write songs, I draw sketches to go with them. It's a visual world to step into and to have fun and to play with," he says.

"It would have really broken my heart if someone else had come and stepped in and been given a big budget from a record company to just do the artwork themselves."

Mika's latest single, Big Girl (You are Beautiful) is released on 23 July. He says it's not about joining the size zero debate, rather it is a message to his mum (although she would hate people to know that).

"It wasn't about size zero foolishness or about any kind of politics. It was just about being yourself and being comfortable with it," he says.

So does Mika ever tire of those constant comparisons with Freddie Mercury? After all, he too sang about fat-bottomed girls.

"Not at all," he says. "I think that when you come from nowhere, you have to be compared to other artists in order for the public to place you. I'm just lucky that I'm being compared to people that I actually like. It's a compliment really."

Mika's art exhibition can be seen at the The Blink Gallery in central London until 14 July.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Inside Mika's art exhibition



SEE ALSO
Mika holds off Brit Awards stars
18 Feb 07 |  Entertainment
Rising star Mika hits number one
21 Jan 07 |  Entertainment
Singer Mika tops BBC talent list
04 Jan 07 |  Entertainment

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