Creative Control

Logan McQuaig goes solo


What: Opening reception for "Creative Control"

When: 6 pm Fri., Sep. 1

Where: Novato, 115 W. Chestnut St.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Among the eye-catching paintings Logan McQuaig will be debuting at his upcoming “Creative Control” exhibit are a stern buffalo with a bird on its shoulder and a gun held between its hooves (“Stand Your Ground”); a hapless guy munching on a McDonald’s Big Mac while a nuclear bomb lights up the sky behind him (“Burger Bomb”); and the backs of instantly recognizable characters from Sesame Street being approached on a dark city street by heavily armed police officers (“R-E-S-I-S-T”).

While viewers might detect a dystopian theme when they drop by McQuaig and his wife Kourtnei’s Novato Shop & Studio to peruse the array of pieces Fri., Sept. 1 during the monthly Art Walk, the artist and business owner says angst over the current political climate isn’t necessarily what moved him to create the eclectic selection of images.

“While having one of the country’s most embarrassing of our many adult boys in the White House sure seems to magnify our shortcomings, most of the ideas I wanted to cover are issues that sort of transcend any one narcissistic A-hole that’s trying to make decisions for us to make them and their friends money,” he says. “I think it’s healthier to focus less on what ‘they’ are trying to do and more on what we’re letting them do and, more importantly, what we are doing ourselves.”

In addition to being his first solo show, “Creative Control” is also the first body of work McQuaig is sharing with the public where he’s had a 100 percent say over what led to the finished product. In past forays, he’s been part of heavily themed group exhibits that pushed him in set directions, or painted commissions with pre-approved directives.

“This has been a pretty cathartic process for me, and I don’t really expect people to read it exactly as I meant it,” McQuaig says when asked what he thinks viewers will take away from his paintings. “I hope that they cringe and laugh. That would mean they recognize the gravity of some of the images and see the humor in its portrayal.”

For those who haven’t visited Novato in a while, be aware that the shop—which specializes in limited-edition apparel from a variety of local and regional artisans, one-of-a-kind shoe and hat designs painted by McQuaig, and an array of handmade art and jewelry—moved a couple spaces down to a bigger venue early last November.

Since then, he says, the gallery that showcases a rotating roster of monthly exhibits has its own locale separate from the shop, meaning there’s more room for people to gather during creative events. The newish-and-improved Novato also has both studio and storage space, which makes being an on-site artist that much easier.

While checking out the original paintings, prints and show posters during Art Walk and through September, feel free to ask McQuaig more about what motivated him to create anthropomorphic bovines, burgers paired with blasts, and imperiled icons of childhood. Chances are, he’ll be more than happy to tell you.

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