Michael Scoggins's oeuvre is a compendium of innocence, embarrassment, failure, secrets, anxiety, obsessive repetition and moments of self-deprecation tempered by hyperbolic flights of self-aggrandizement. Supported by the legacies of the Dada and Pop Art movements, Scoggins employs unpretentious materials common to communication, revelation and confession – specifically, and most prominently, the pages of spiral bound notebooks that meticulously recreates by hand on a grand scale. Scoggins alter-ego, Michael S., who signs all of his work on the front, both is and is not Scoggins himself; he’s a fanciful idea of a child, one whose blunt ideas challenge our position as a viewer.  The familiarity of the form evokes an instant nostalgia, but the large sheets are at once both candid and deceitful. The pieces are all shaped, crumpled or torn by the artist, lending them a sculptural quality whether they are meant for the wall, the floor or as suspended mobiles.


Scoggins recently returned to making chalkboard works after being commissioned by the Bass Museum to create a work for their Temporary/Contemporary Program during the Summer of 2014. The chalkboard works find Scoggins writing, rewriting and then erasing the full narrative hidden painterly blurs and smudges. The work suggests that Michael S. is becoming an adult--demonstrating the willingness to conceal his thoughts from the viewer. Partially erased words hint at his emotional state; letters written to unknown recipients are left for the viewer to interpret. They are powerful, intimate works that demand close inspection but will always remain a mystery.


Michael Scoggins gained an MFA in painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2006. He attended the prestigious Skowhegan School of painting and Sculpture in 2003 and was selected for the MacDowell Colony residency in 2013. His work has been featured in New York Magazine, the New York Times and Modern Painters, among many others. Scoggins is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY); the Hammer Museum, (Los Angeles, CA); the Mattituck Museum (Mattituck, CT); the Gettysburg Museum (Gettysburg, PA); The Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, GA); along with several prestigious private collections. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.


Michael Scoggins "if you can't say something nice..." Reviewed by Alison Martin in Examiner
November 25, 2014
Michael Scoggins "if you can't say something nice..." Studio Tour
November 7, 2014

Michael Scoggins gave a studio tour to the good folk at Artnet. His exhibition "If You Can't Say Something Nice..." opened this past weekend at Freight and Volume. 

"Drawn To Language" exhibition featured in The Villager by Stephanie Buhmann
September 9, 2014

"Whether language is used for emphasis, to communicate specific meaning, draw out a narrative or simply to make a joke, it always proves to be a potent means of expression. By focusing on artists who pursue their subject by using unusual materials, processes and techniques, “Drawn to Language” aims to encourage its audience to examine language in new ways."

SALiT Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 1, June 2010
by Heath Ritch
Michael Scoggins: Drawing Attention to His Art
Professional Artist Magazine, March 2011
Michael Scoggins: Sic Semper Tyrannis
CAVC, October 11, 2008
Bâlelatina Branches Out
By David Grosz, June 4, 2008
Michael Scoggins Reveals Childhood Memories
The Korea Times, by Cathy Rose A. Garcia, April 10, 2009
Flavorpill: Michael Scoggins
San Francisco, Issue 337, October 14, 2008
The Brooklyn Rail, April 2004
Webexclusive by Priska C. Juschka