Musgrove could be described as an elegant fusion of Dr. Dolittle & Dr. Frankenstein. He creates unexpected, (oft misunderstood) beasts with paint, wood, bronze and any other surface willing to bend to his will. Despite his creature’s peculiar nature, they are not grotesque, nor do they elicit fear or mockery. Instead they speak with quiet dignity as they stoically gaze back at us — their moist eye’s rimmed with sad understanding of their slipped grasp of the mortal coil.
Musgrove infuses impeccable details into each of his pieces and they all deserve the closest inspection. Additionally, the ideas and intention of his work are equally important. Jonathan Levin Gallery described his recent naming process well:
While previous work used the formal “binominal nomenclature” system of latin-based scientific species classification, the artist chose to title some of the works in this show with famous last words of historical figures, instead. For example, How Is The Empire?—the title of one painting and of the show itself—happens to be the final words (inaccurately) attributed to King George V of England. Musgrove felt it fitting to use final words of illustrious characters as titles since much of his work is about extinction, believing that giving a voice to the deceased creatures themselves might dignify their passing, rather than simply naming the beasts as they silently await their inevitable demise.
An in-depth and wickedly funny ‘biography’ for Musgrove (which allows additional insight into the artists witty mind) can be found on his blog.
This painting titled, “Prince of Parasites” is part of Dark Pop 3.0 — a group show at Last Rites Gallery in New York. The show will run from Jan 15th – Feb 12th. More info here.
You may purchase a signed limited edition hardbound, gold-embossed book from the artist. It comes with a custom-made foil stamped box and a giclee print of The Penultimate Glamour Cat with skeleton Vellum Overlay. Visit the artist’s store.
Postcards and a standard hardcover edition can be found at many independent booksellers including the publisher Last Gasp Books.