That's What She Said

Has Michael Gaughan gone serious?

The artist goofball—perhaps best known for his alter-ego Ice Rod, a fictional 22-year-old white-boy rapper, who recently has taken to ambushing strangers with jokey freestyles via Chatroulette in front of a live audience—is showing at the Chambers tonight.

Courtesy Michael Gaughan

That’s right. Burnet Gallery at Le Meridien Chambers. A showroom that, despite its connection to a luxury art hotel packed with aesthetic audacities, is pretty pro. It’s named after our state’s most moneyed art collector—curator Jenn Phelps has a heralded eye for talent, and, as any careerist local artist knows, the stuff in there usually sells.

None of this, of course, has caused Gaughan to change his tune. Dubbing his works “visual jokes,” Gaughan compares his creative process to gag-writing, trying, as he says, to “harness the positive entertainment value of comedy into my watercolor paintings.” So expect a lot of puns, like, say, a skateboarding half pipe tagged with the Magritte-esque slogan, “Ceci n’est pas un half pipe.” Or a Richard Prince-style joke painting declaring, “My wife went to Minneapolis and all she bought me was this $11,000 painting from the Burnet Gallery.”

Funny stuff. But is it Chambers-caliber art?

Do you think Gaughan really cares?

Buck Turbo: Recent Water Colors by Michael Gaughan
Opening reception Friday, July 13
6 to 9 p.m.
Burnet Gallery at Le Meridien Chambers
901 Hennepin Ave., Mpls.