Art Feature: Mad, Mad World
Art by Miguel Aguilar
Feature by Rob Carroll
Miguel Aguilar’s artwork is playful, absurd, and devoid of the stuffy seriousness that permeates so much of modern art today. This doesn’t mean, however, that his art isn’t thoughtful. It is. Miggy’s work ponders existence with the best of them. And that's the true beauty of it. His art can make you think, but it can also just look really rad as a sticker plastered to the bottom of an old skateboard.
Miggy, by his own admission, is a throwback to the low brow pop art of the 1980’s and 90’s (think Mad Magazine), mixed with a dash of Gothic surrealism a la H.R. Giger and Hieronymus Bosch. His low brow influences—whose irreverent pen names themselves evoke the movement—are many, including R. Crumb, Robt. Williams, XNO, Jeff Gaither, Basil Wolverine, Will Elder, and Wally Wood.
Miggy’s technique, by his own words, is a simple one. He just thinks up a concept, sketches it out with non-reproductive blue pencil, and then inks the drawing the same way he would a DIY rock flyer or a comic book.
Considering Miggy’s pencil-and-ink style, and his affinity for all things low brow and surreal, it only makes sense that he began his art career drawing caricatures at theme parks across the United States. In fact, he still makes most of his income that way by working at fairs, festivals, flea markets, and private parties. It wasn’t until he began showing his work at bars and in small galleries around his home in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area of Texas that he started picking up work doing rock flyers for bands and music venues, or logos for Dallas-area restaurants.
Even as the demand for Miggy’s services grow, his first love remains with caricatures. He has amassed dozens of caricature illustrations that he’s drawn of famous writers, politicians,scientists, philosophers, religious figures, musicians, artists, actors, and people in pop culture. He intends to one day release a book of these illustrations.
His biggest dream, however, is to break more into the comic book industry. In the past, he has worked on comic book projects like Dirk Strangely’s Strange Stories for Strange People, and he would like to do more of that kind of work again. Mostly, though, Miggy would love to finish one of his own comic book titles currently in the works, and share it with the world.
Personally, I can’t wait to see what the mad genius delivers.
Images © 2020, Miguel Aguilar