Michael Gaughan’s Visual Punchlines Bring Comedy To Art

Michael Gaughan

whoopsie  Michael Gaughan

Michael Gaughan raymond pettibon

Michael Gaughan represents a new breed of hyper-creative talents whose work spans an absurd amount of media. Known for a variety of projects (including city-wide scavenger hunts, his chat-roulette in a mock-dorm room rapping identity Ice Rod, and for renting out his apartment for couples needing a romantic getaway on Valentine’s Day), Gaughan creates with an almost child-like glee. Despite the playfulness in the work, however, there is a sophistication and consistency that separates it from most. This is particularly evident in his highly-technical watercolor paintings, where art-world in-jokes exist seamlessly with pop-culture rimshots. In an exclusive talk with Beautiful/Decay, Gaughan summarizes his motivations, “Humor is not my main medium, but definitely a consistent theme in my life and my artwork. I think that putting yourself out there in a vulnerable way is really uncomfortable and nerve-racking. It is a lot easier to do things as a joke rather than take yourself seriously, and simultaneously I am equally motivated by the possibility of brightening up someone else’s day. I ultimately want to bring joy to other people.

Gaughan’s work references “(art) history…obscenity, pop culture, absurdity, personal experiences, fears, feelings, misunderstandings, language, human experience, and creativity as well. Skate culture is great too!” When asked about the obvious amount of time spent on each work compared to the relatively short amount of time to elicit a humorous response (and if that adds to the joke), Gaughan responds, “Ha ha I hope so. It is also important to remember that punchlines can stay with you… Just because the audience can “get it” in seconds, doesn’t mean that they won’t revisit again it in their mind. I think art-work that takes longer to understand doesn’t necessarily mean that people will remember any longer than something that took only a second to get...”

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Watercolor Paintings of Imagined Epic Proportions

Rob Sato - Watercolors Rob Sato - WatercolorsRob Sato - WatercolorsRob Sato’s watercolor paintings are whimsical clashes of documented history and personal dreaming: a magpie pictorial narrative of his own internal processing system or as he says, an “extension of writing” and “sifting through garbage. Getting a lot of trash out of my head.” His ability to condense worlds, communities, and landscapes into one surreal solid depiction, interestingly enough, conceptually harkens back to Vincent VanGogh’s statement on the watercolor medium itself as “a splendid thing” to “express atmosphere and distance, so that the figure is surrounded by air and can breathe in it.” Read More >


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Molly Segal’s Brutal Brush Strokes Of Vulnerable Moments

Brutal, arresting, and violent, Molly Segal’s large format watercolors of hungry, rabid pack animals serve as symbols of both watchers of and participants within pernicious social situations; these scenarios, coupled with paintings of messy, passionate, unleashed sexuality are all depicted using loose, uncontrolled brush strokes, that often leave dripping paint behind. Her watercolors are made on a waterproof paper called Yupo, so before she even beings her process, she has initiated a battle between contradicting mediums. In her statement, she describes how this impacts her work:

“The loose, wet on wet technique of watercolor on Yupo paper helps me explore the ambiguities of our own boundaries. Because Yupo paper doesn’t absorb any of the paint all of the pigment sits on top, vulnerable to the elements and impermanent. The impermanence and vulnerability of the paint itself references the fleetingness of youth and the fluctuating nature of memory.”

Molly Segal is originally from Oakland and is currently an MFA candidate at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.


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Molly Segal’s Brutal Brush Strokes Of Vulnerable Moments

Brutal, arresting, and violent, Molly Segal’s large format watercolors of hungry, rabid pack animals serve as symbols of both watchers of and participants within pernicious social situations; these scenarios, coupled with paintings of messy, passionate, unleashed sexuality are all depicted using loose, uncontrolled brush strokes, that often leave dripping paint behind. Her watercolors are made on a waterproof paper called Yupo, so before she even beings her process, she has initiated a battle between contradicting mediums. In her statement, she describes how this impacts her work:

“The loose, wet on wet technique of watercolor on Yupo paper helps me explore the ambiguities of our own boundaries. Because Yupo paper doesn’t absorb any of the paint all of the pigment sits on top, vulnerable to the elements and impermanent. The impermanence and vulnerability of the paint itself references the fleetingness of youth and the fluctuating nature of memory.”

Molly Segal is originally from Oakland and is currently an MFA candidate at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.


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