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Anthony Ausgang

Anthony Ausgang is a painter currently working in Los Angeles. Born in Trinidad and Tobago but raised in Houston, Ausgang's work makes smart use of both cultures. "The weirdness of having been born in an English colony and then moving to Texas wasn't apparent to me until I became a teenager. My parents did their best to carry on the European traditions but I was hell bent on assimilating everything American, which I now realize had a lot of Texas in the mix." says Ausgang. "I found an interesting type of liberalism beneath the conservative attitudes in Texas; if you were polite about it you could get away with almost anything." He moved to Hollywood via Austin in 1980 and enrolled at The Otis Art Institute, quickly dropping out to pursue showing in galleries. Since then, Ausgang has had many one person and group shows in Europe, Asia and America; he is currently represented by the Copro Nason Gallery in Los Angeles.

Ausgang's paintings have been critically referred to as Pop Surrealism or Low Brow. This art has been derided as merely "illustrations dreamed up for a stoned art director" but such detractions serve to strengthen the outsider camaraderie of the artists involved. One of Ausgang's unique traits is that he combines this street attitude with his knowledge of art history and contemporary art trends. "In the 90's the art world made Deconstruction one of its pet projects. I was fascinated by the concept of taking apart an art form and examining its components but I was baffled that no one seemed interested in putting the parts back together." says Ausgang. Applying this reductive scrutiny to his trademark self designed cartoon characters, Ausgang found that the post-deconstruction reconstruction was neither abstract nor realist; the creatures were a construct of cartoon character elements. A mouth with a tail could successfully represent a cat; any more visual information was unnecessary.

The direct storyline in Ausgang's earlier work has been replaced with an oblique description of events. These new paintings depict a multi faceted narrative that invites the viewers' scrutiny and debate. Since the "meaning" of the painting is to be defined by its audience, a story develops that is unspecified by the artist. Released from the tyranny of a linear narrative Ausgang is able to expand the visual quotient of his paintings and let his psychedelic cats roam freely.

Ausgang now shows regularly in Los Angeles, New York City, Amsterdam and Hamburg. Commercial clients include the Boredoms (Warner) in Japan and Apollo 440 (Sony) in England. Collectors include Nicholas Cage, David Arquette and Perry Farrell.

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