Widely known for his commercial work as a designer-illustrator for publications such as Vice and Thrasher magazines, the VAC’s spring 2014 artist-in-residence Michael Sieben makes a foray into a gallery setting with this exhibition. Actively engaged in the teen-driven subculture of skateboarding for over 25 years, Sieben embraces both the nostalgia for adolescence and the fear of transitioning to adulthood, and it’s this Peter Pan complex that drives his “boy’s clubhouse” aesthetic in both his commercial and fine art practices. Celebrating monsters and invented characters, the artist’s childhood fantasy of living under a skateboard ramp comes to life in It Will All Happen Again through sculptures, wall paintings, animation, and drawings. Dwellers, the characters who inhabit Sieben’s skate-ramp underworld, populate the Vaulted Gallery, luring visitors into their world with their large strained eyes, disproportionate limbs, and awkward smiles.
The site of the VAC’s artist-in-residence program, the Vaulted Gallery is transformed twice annually by emerging national and international artists who inhabit the space for three to five weeks each to create new, site-specific installations. This dynamic residency program, situated in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Texas at Austin, fosters collaboration with campus and local communities and provides valuable educational opportunities to students.
Generous support for It Will All Happen Again comes from Suzanne Deal Booth and David G. Booth, Stratus Properties, and the W Austin.
Michael Sieben is an artist living and working in Austin. He received his BFA in Studio Art from The University of Texas at Austin in 1999. His work combines a “boy’s clubhouse” aesthetic with imagery derived from early skateboarding graphics. Sieben maintains a fine arts practice as a solo artist and co-founder of the Austin-based artist collective Okay Mountain, while also working as a commercial illustrator and designer for clients such as MTV, Vans, and Volcom Clothing. Sieben recently became the Managing Editor of Thrasher magazine and illustrated the newest edition of The Wizard of Oz published by Harper Design.