Michael Gaughan wants to make you happy. “I find myself making art to bring something positive to other people's lives, to create something enjoyable for people to experience.” The Minneapolis-based artist, illustrator, and performer creates work that is at once gorgeous, heartfelt, and utterly hilarious. In his recent work, he takes cues from stand up comedy. “I want to use my art to entertain other people,” Gaughan states. Mr. Gaughan, we feel it. We are certainly entertained.
Michael Gaughan’s solo exhibition BUCK TURBO, opens Friday, July 13 at the Burnet Gallery in Minneapolis. Gaughan recently met up with our newest staff member, Jarad, to answer a few questions about the show.
I treat the task of making paintings the same way a comedian approaches writing a 30 minute standup comedy routine. I try to harness the positive entertainment value of comedy into my watercolor paintings.
What is it that pushes the traditional “buck wild” party experience into Buck Turbo territory?
When you’re going buck wild, you’re having fun, being on the edge, behaving “buck-dufusesque,” what have you…but Buck Turbo is living your life to the extreme, having fun, going outside, making the most of your time on this earth, pushing yourself, behaving buck flippy, embracing the challenges and overcoming with the most exciting and unplanned elements of creativity.
What is the definition of a Big Boy Supreme?
Big Boy Supreme is a best friend. Like a big boy (or big girl) is an acquaintance or a friend. But when you tack on the “supreme” part, that is something special, like someone you grew up with, or someone you are collaborating with, or your sister's boyfriend, etc.—something of that nature.
What is your favorite piece in the exhibition?
I have two favorite pieces in the exhibit: one is the still life with the marching ants on it, and the other is the painting of the MCAD car. With both of these works I pushed myself technically, and the humor is so “one-liner,” so sophomoric, which is so unvouge in the art world right now, and it makes it funnier to me and somewhat counterculture-ish. I really tried to keep the style of humor diverse and approach visual joke-making in different ways. We’ll see if that translates.
You never seem to tire. What keeps you motivated?
Being alive, being healthy, having friends that I want to entertain and make laugh or at least smile. I want to leave something positive for those around me.
Tell me a joke.
The NYC hipster was upset because when he signed up for “Instagram” he thought it was a drug deliver service…instead it was just a bunch of vintage-y colored photos of bridges, grimy architecture, and people’s cats… :(
All Rights Reserved to Michael Gaughan.