Michael Waugh is known for intricate, representational drawings formed from minuscule handwritten words, a practice known as micrography. Waugh transcribes texts—such as government commissions and theoretical books about power and capitalism—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.
Michael Waugh was born in Cambridge, MA. He earned his graduate degree in painting from New York University in 2000; but he also has degrees in writing from Texas State University and history from the University of Texas. He has exhibited internationally for the last fifteen years and his work has been reviewed by the New York Times, Art in America and ARTNews. He is the recipient of awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, The Marie Walsh Sharp Space Program and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.
The artist lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.