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MCCC Gallery to Present ‘#RealNews," Works by Michael Scoggins, Oct. 16 to Nov. 30; Opening Reception Is October 18


Works by Michael Scoggins will challenge visitors at the MCCC Gallery.

West Windsor, N.J. – “#RealNews," works by Michael Scoggins, will be featured at The Gallery at Mercer County Community College (MCCC). This solo exhibition by the acclaimed New York City-based artist opens Monday, Oct. 16 and runs through Thursday, Nov. 30.

The community is invited to an artist talk on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at noon, in the Communications Building, Room 109, followed by an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Gallery, located on the second floor of the Communications Building on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. Gallery hours for this show are Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The show will include approximately 12 works by Scoggins, in which he lampoons American and art-world politics and provincialism in disarming schoolboy-style doodles and writings. In his artist’s statement, Scoggins says, “A page out of a notebook, with its blue lines and spiral bound edges, is a familiar image.This is my primary vehicle in utilizing a connection with the viewer. The paper is enlarged to give this common object a sense of importance and to create a new perspective. The text and images placed upon the large page deal with the influences of American culture and how it has shaped my life.”

“The work I make is always political,” Scoggins observes on artsy,net, a website dedicated to art collecting and art education. He describes himself as having started out as “a painters’ painter,” but ultimately feeling blocked by his early work. Revisiting his adult and childhood notebooks, he hit upon the approach he has been following ever since: using large-scale sheets of paper that he cuts, creases, crumples, and rules with lines to look exactly like notebook pages. He then sketches, makes notes, and writes essays in a naïve hand, presenting each piece as if it is an assignment, dating the work and signing it as “Michael S.”

Gallery Director Lucas Kelly, MCCC Professor of Fine Arts, says, “We are excited to host Michael Scoggins, who has exhibited all over the world. '#RealNews' is a specific selection of his work that focuses on overtly political themes. He uses aggressive images and text while disarming the content with a style of drawing that is indelibly familiar and at times comical. The identity of the maker is masked by the character of 'Michael S,' an opinionated and unfiltered persona created by Scoggins who has the voice of an early teen, but deals with content that is far more adult."

Kelly predicts that Gallery visitors will find the exhibit challenging. "I expect this show to generate a lot of dialogue about Scoggins' conceptual and formal decision-making from students in a variety of disciplines,” he said.

Scoggins earned his MFA in Painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2006 and has attended various prestigious residencies including the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the MacDowell Colony, and Fountainhead. He has gained international recognition and gallery representation in Atlanta, Miami, New York, Detroit, San Francisco and Vienna. His works have been added to collections including the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He has had more than 20 solo exhibits and been featured in multiple curated group exhibitions. He has been written about in a wide variety of publications.

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