by Annette Isham
Friday Night Gun Fight, a Michael Scoggins solo exhibition at Project 4, is simultaneously playful and extremely serious. The works, done on large-scale paper, shaped and colored to look as if they were torn out of a spiral notebook, are almost sculptural. They are slightly crinkled and appear to have a rough torn-out left edge. Made in a naïve style, each piece has "Michael S" written on it, as if following a grade school teacher's constant reminder to put your name on your work. The craftsmanship and context of his works parallel that of a young student, through the use of undeveloped penmanship and characters as well as the recognizable staples of childhood entertainment. What makes these works so interesting are the very complex political and social issues Scoggins addresses using the simplistic expressions of a child. Scoggins confronts ideas about American politics, policies, and patriotism.
"heller, june 26, 2008" marker, prismacolor on paper 67” X 51” 2008
The tension created by the pairing of serious topics with the playful manner in which he approaches them allows for a provocative dialogue. The seeming simplicity of his works is in fact responsible for their undeniable boldness, as it provides the irony we need to question our views. Is he mocking the severe manner in which we approach and complicate otherwise resolvable issues? Could our social obscurities be eliminated by instead utilizing even our most elementary means of communication?
On view through Friday October, 25, 2008