Another winner from last year’s Emerging Carolinas exhibit is Michael Ohgren, who lives and works in Asheville, NC. He received his BFA in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, and his MFA in Sculpture from Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. You can see his work right now in The Showroom and especially September 15 from 7-9pm during the show’s reception.
Here’s a little more about him via our little Q&A:
Describe your art in three words.
– depends on (the) day.
What led you to art?
In high school I wanted to take this film production class because it was off campus (for obvious reasons), but the class ended up being full. I was placed in a sculpture class instead. And there you have it! No, in reality it’s a little more complex than that. Although I resisted the pull of art at first, thinking I was too cool to be invested in anything, I eventually found, through making, I was able to understand things about myself at a much more profound level than I had ever experienced before. Up until that point my profound experiences were all skateboard-related.
When people come to your show at The Showroom, what do you hope they take away from your work?
I hope there is a recognition of the serial quality of the work and how it reflects the creation of a public and private identity across material, technique, and time.
What new projects are you working on?
Right now I’m mainly focusing on a drawing series that has been going on for about 2 years entitled, tentatively, “Equal History”……or possibly “Michael Ohgren/Buck Wild” (see images). It’s a project I started when I first moved to Asheville and have been continuously adding drawings to. The drawings vary greatly in mood, subject, and scale, being linked by material, ink on paper (I use the same brand ink, paper, and same 6 brushes for every drawing) and the fact that they were made by me. The drawings are grouped close together without much consideration towards building a cohesive or linear whole. Through this process I hope to give voice to time and transformation.
If you were to make a loud noise on The Showroom stage, what would it sound like?
Screaming George Costanza quotes at the top of my lungs. Or possibly me trying to imitate Bruce Dickinson on Iron Maiden’s “Hallowed Be Thy Name”. The upper ranges, of course.