For his second solo exhibition at Freight + Volume Michael Scoggins will present a new series of his signature hand-drawn notebook paper pieces. Meticulously fashioned in graphite, crayon, and marker, their edges complete with spiral bound holes and a tattered facade, the sheets appear hastily torn from a school pad. The artists’ faux-naive approach is contradicted by the works monumental scale (most measure 67×51”) challenging our notions of traditional drawing, existing somewhere within the realm of two and three dimensionality.
In My Good, My Evil, we are introduced to the artist in a series of autobiographical settings. In witty one-liners such as ‘Lost and Alone’ the artist appears trapped in the middle of the page, panic stricken as swirls of graphite close in on him. The provocative “All American Family”, the first in a series of works to address the undertones of America’s racial issues, depicts the white artist with his adopted African American family. In “Dear Katie” the carefree mood of a love letter is soured, as closer study reveals a note that has been ripped up in the heat of the moment and with a change of heart, taped carefully back together. The centerpiece of the show, a diptych entitled “Potential Vehicle for Evil/Good,” simplistically illustrates the artist’s inner tensions, as the narrative voice of the ‘good’ (perhaps younger) Scoggins clashes with the ‘evil’ (perhaps adult) Scoggins.
In these epic pages we become voyeurs, privy to the artist’s journalistic scrawls and rants. He confronts American culture and politics, crushes and nasty breakups, capturing life’s everyday mood swings and recalling sentimental notions of childhood in a way that’s accessible to all. Scoggins’ humorous, smart and satirical ‘canvases’ have universal appeal, evoking nostalgia and memory.
Recently relocated from Savannah, GA, Michael Scoggins currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He has been included in numerous group and solo exhibitions in the US and abroad and his work has been acquired by the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2004), Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection; The Hammer Museum (2007/8), Los Angeles; and Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA. He is represented by Freight + Volume, NY, Diana Lowenstein Gallery, FL, Saltworks, GA, and Adler & Company, CA.