I can easily say that out of all the interviews I’ve ever conducted on My Modern Met, this one with Sage Vaughn has got to be the strangest. Before reading it, I invite you to enjoy the work of the Los Angeles-based artist who will make you feel all mixed up inside with his interesting juxtapositions.
In his Wildlife series we see beautiful birds perched on a tree but what’s that in the background..a helicopter? Then, in Wildlives, we come face to face with children in sweet costumes…placed on city streets? If anything, Vaughn’s pieces will have you questioning what kinds of stories he’s trying to tell.
Can you please go into how you create your mixed media art – especially for Wildlife and Wildives?
i work with a concept in mind concerning animals and man. I like to play the images on the edge of where society and wilderness overlap. When I’m actually making the works, with brush to canvas, I prefer to be in complete darkness. I paint wearing night vision infrared goggles. I think this better simulates the way most of the animals I depict view the world.
What kind of stories are you telling in these sets?
The primary story I’m trying to tell is that man hopelessly wishes to control nature, and that nature will always be chaotic, seductive, and over-powering. The wild will push a million single blades of grass through a mile of sidewalk. It will win over time because it can’t stop itself.
Why the juxtaposition between urban backdrops with wildlife and child superheroes?
All of these works are from photographs I steal, take, or borrow. putting them together to make these situations helps me recreate those moments I actually see in life when I don’t have a camera. Birds are hard to take pictures of, they never stay still. Same with kids. You have to get pictures of kids while they’re sleeping, those come out the best.
Is it true that you wanted to show, the “world as unique in its horror and ordinary in its natural beauty”?
I said that? Why are there quotes around it?I don’t know what to make of that statement…
I’ll make up my own: “Nature is equally tragic in its self consumption as Man’s Sisyphean attempts for Grace” – Charles Barkley