Meet today's most compelling artists and explore their work as they take you on a creative journey sure to inspire your imagination and appreciation for the visual arts.
Featured Artist Anthony Ausgang
Anthony Ausgang is a painter currently working in Los Angeles. His paintings have been critically referred to as Pop Surrealism or Low Brow but Ausgang’s unique trait is that he combines this street attitude with his knowledge of art history and contemporary art trends.
"In the 90s the art world made Deconstruction one of its pet projects. I was fascinated by the concept of taking apart an art form and examining its components but I was baffled that no one seemed interested in putting the parts back together," says Ausgang. Applying this reductive scrutiny to his trademark self-designed cartoon cat characters, Ausgang finds that the post-deconstruction reconstruction is neither abstract nor realist; the creatures are a construct of cartoon character elements. A mouth with a tail can successfully represent a cat; any more visual information is unnecessary. Ausgang’s newest body of work explores this grey area between representational and abstract art. The direct storyline in Ausgang’s earlier work has been replaced with an oblique description of events. These new paintings depict a multifaceted narrative that invites the viewers’ scrutiny and debate. Since the meaning of a painting is to be defined by its audience, a story develops that is unspecified by the artist.
Released from the tyranny of a linear narrative, Ausgang is able to expand the visual quotient of his paintings and let his psychedelic cats roam freely. Born in Trinidad and Tobago but raised in Houston, Ausgang’s work makes smart use of both cultures. "The weirdness of having been born in an English colony and then moving to Texas wasn’t apparent to me until I became a teenager. My parents did their best to carry on the European traditions but I was hell bent on assimilating everything American." He moved to Hollywood via Austin in 1980 and enrolled at The Otis Art Institute, quickly dropping out to pursue showing in galleries. Since then, Ausgang has had many one person and group shows in Europe, Asia and America. The bands MGMT and the Boredoms have used his paintings for cover art and his work is included in the collections of Nicolas Cage and David Arquette.
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