Until the 2nd of january 2016 a small, suburban garage in Little Rock, Arkansas is transformed into one big sigh of relief. Ahhhhhh is the title of a new exhibition by the New York-based artist and graphic designer Michael Boswell whose neo-Memphis style constantly swings between the recognizable and the abstract – the familiar and the strange.
"I’m a midwest boy who spent a decade in the Colorado mountains snowboarding,” Michael told us, when we asked him about his background. After graduating from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Detroit he settled in New York City, where he now lives with his wife and daughter. Michael works in the field of design and branding but he always tries to challange the disciplines by doing collaborations and projects that include elements of illustration, photography and art.
His latest art project Ahhhhhh is right now exhibited at Good Weather Gallery in the northern part of Little Rock. The exhibition mixes a varity of media, from painting and sculpture to photography and ready-mades, with an exprimenting approach to color, form and material as a recurrent theme. Digitally printed textiles, brightly painted bronze, reflecting colors, abstractions and empty soda cans. Ahhhhhh is Michael’s response to a contemporary society that strives for pleassure and eternal youth and adresses how this obssesion leads to emptiness. When we first saw Michael’s work we instantly fell in love with his way of mixing the different elements, colors and materials – so we didn’t hesitate to send a couple of questions his way to get to know the talented, american artist a bit better. Thank you so much for getting in touch, Michael, and good luck with Ahhhhhh.
So, what made you choose to work within the creative field?
I was raised in a family that works primarily in creative fields, so it was an easy path to fall into. Initially I wanted to push away from a career in the arts by focusing on chemistry, but ended up dropping out to attend art school. Looking back is kind of scary, I followed my gut and didn’t really stop to think about where everything was headed.
Tell us about your new exhibition at Good Weather
Good Weather is a contemporary art gallery directed by Haynes Riley in Little Rock, Arkansas. The space has shown some wonderful past exhibitions so I was thrilled for the opportunity. Thematically my work focuses on the cyclical desire to achieve and grasp various forms of pleasure. “Ahhhhhh” is a collision of these ideas presented in print, sculpture and installation formats.
How has the process behind producing this body of work been?
The show from start to finish took about 2 months to concept, produce and install. Working with fabricators and metal foundries to cast the bronze required lengthy production periods, so it was a little bit of a juggling act to coordinate work flow to hit the deadline. We were able to check everything off my wish list for the show, which I’m super thankful of.
In general I tend to keep a running list of ideas and projects that grows and changes. I find a lot of inspiration from making work, writing, research, sketching and lineage of past work, which for me are all inextricably linked. Socializing with friends helps push ideas and resolve any issues as well.
What will the future bring for Michael Boswell?
I’m currently working on a branding project for a new global electronic music festival that’s been a lot of fun to create. I’m also collaborating with Good Weather on a line of travel neck pillows that launch sometime soon. Studio time has been focused on a drawing series and nicotine prints, while getting ready for a video and photography project that will coincide with the pillows. Theres a few other things in the works as well :)
Rikke Luna (f. 1988) og Matias Albæk-Falk (f. 1988) er stiftere af idoart.dk, og driver derudover formidlingsbureauet I DO ART Agency samt I DO ART Books.