Michael McMaster – Guileless

Posted 2 weeks ago in Arts and Culture


Michael McMaster is an artist from Long Beach, California, who has been living in Dublin for around ten years.

As well as being a talented artist he is also an extremely proficient skateboarder and is very prominent in the Irish skate-scene.

If you skate in Dublin, it’s highly likely you’ve shared a friendly chat with Mikey at some stage.

We talked to McMaster about his new exhibition: Guileless, a solo show in Stay True Tattooing in Temple Bar, ahead of its opening in June.


What is the exhibition about?

I kind of wanted it to be based around the childlike freedom you have when you’re making art, where it’s not really too focused on your movements but creating just to create.

I feel like that was more me, compared to what I had made previously. Previously I was comparing too much. I feel like this stuff is what I would make up, weird shit that’d come out of my mind…

That’s kind of the whole basis of it really. I have no idea what I’m actually painting. I’m painting and something will appear, and I’ll like it for a bit, and think ‘oh maybe I’ll do this!’ and then I’ll realize, oh… that’s not what I wanted it to look like so I’ll go over it, and over it until something else appears.


Is that why the pieces are so textured?

Yeah, a lot of those paintings were old paintings, so there’s layers upon layers of paint from things I didn’t use for previous shows, or paintings I just did and never finished. I thought I’d just see what comes of it. You can see the layers and textures that were just super dried out, but it does give an interesting depth.


Do you think your style has changed since other exhibitions you’ve done?

This one is a lot different from the last one. I had my first solo show in December there, so it’s a pretty quick turnaround.

It’s still kind of abstract-y but it has the same kind of weird figures in it. So it’s changed a lot over the last six months.


Why did you choose Stay True Tattooing as a venue?

The venue is amazing, I’ve been coming to True for years for tattoos, and the lads here are so sound, and all the artists are amazing, so just to be able to hang up something in the space where I’ve always seen really cool artwork from really talented tattooists and artists from around the world is unreal.

To have it here in the center of Temple Bar, Andy was so nice to let me do the first show here, so I’m super stoked to see more shows after this because it’s such a fun venue and it’s more relaxed than a regular gallery.


So this is the first show here?

Yeah, this will be the first one in this studio. The owner Andy was chatting to me and a friend ages ago about wanting to do shows every month, and I said ‘Yeah I’d love to do one,’ and he said ‘let’s do it!’


I know you haven’t opened the exhibition yet, but how do you think it’ll be received?

Well it’s not raining, so that’s a big factor, it’s hard enough to get people to go out and do anything so I’m pretty stoked to have this spot. The foot traffic here is insane… you know yourself. It’d be cool to get a bunch of random people in for a little goo around.

I think it should be a pretty good turnout. It’d be great to have a mix of all of my mates, people from the skate scene, my partners mates and all the lads and tattoo artists here. They’re all super supportive and have been stoked on all the stuff I’ve been doing. I think it should be pretty good.

The artist’s instagram account @fangerart features timelapses of his work, which show the tide-like process; ideas being created and washed away just as quickly…

Words: Andrew Peard

Guileless by Michael McMaster takes place at Stay True 12 Anglesea Street Temple Bar, D02Y033.


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