Michael Waugh, ‘Boom and Bust (FCIR, part 7)’, 2015, Von Lintel Gallery

About Michael Waugh

Michael Waugh is known for intricate, representational drawings formed from minuscule handwritten words, a practice known as micrography. Unlike the original 9th-century Jewish micrographers, however, Waugh transcribes secular texts—such as presidential inaugural addresses, commissioned reports, Marxist Rosa Luxemburg’s The Accumulation of Capital (1913), and tweets from Tahrir Square—into portraits and landscapes. To Waugh, the selection of texts and images and the relationship between the two are the conceptual heart of the work. “These are worlds made of words that draw upon a historical quest for knowledge and for political progress—a quest often at odds with social reality,” he explains. Waugh also explores these themes through mixed-media installations, performances, and videos, as in “The Wealth of Nations” project (2009-) for which he has staged (and documented) public readings from Adam Smith’s seminal economic text.

American, b. 1967, based in Brooklyn, New York