Sunday, September 11, 2011

Morgan Steele

I stumbled across a piece by Morgan Steele on the wall of a scuzzy gay Karaoke bar on Warschauerstrasse in Berlin. The club was hosting the "Tranny Olympics" (some spectacularly appalling lip syncing, cupcake eating, and a 200m sprint in heels)and somehow, the painting seemed right at home alongside trannies in spiked heels and shriekingly glamourous ensembles. It was a picture of Mickey and Minnie Mouse as American hicks, complete with black vests and L7/Black Flag tattoos. The attention to detail and the impish sense of fun captured my attention, but what appeals most, looking at some of his other work, is the way in which he captures a sense of an America that I can only describe as casually manic, gleefully other. Slightly sideways and off kilter, his work reminds me a little of some of Gary Larson's The Far Side stuff - it's strangte, but not threatening in its strangeness; the characters and scenarios within strike me as having only a passing, aloof concern for their audience. In fact, I would go so far as to say that they display a casual indifference, staring out of the canvases with mild aloofness. Fun.

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