a conversation with Sage Vaughn

"For the show, I got a new suit, and I am in Hamburg with my wife, and we show up at the opening, and nobody talked to us the entire night, because I was wearing a suit, and nobody knew I was the artist. It was really rad and strange, my wife and I were grinning idiots in the corner, thinking what do we do. (laughing)." - Sage Vaughn

color studies at the studio

In addition to interior design, I have been busy writing for design/art publications. Writing for myself is an attempt to understand more than can be "seen" with the eye, a chance to explore further. I recently had a conversation with L.A. artist Sage Vaughn for the Berlin based Freunde von Freunden about his studio practice, his hippy parents, and his upcoming shows in China. "Freunde von Freunden is international interview magazine that portrays people of diverse creative and cultural backgrounds in their homes or within their daily working environments, " and I'm thrilled to be writing for them. Read the full interview here at Freunde von Freunden. Photography by Zen Sekizawa.

"Sage Vaughn is optimistic, humorous, vulnerable, and he immediately welcomed us on the day we visited his studio. His Pasadena studio, which sits behind a car wash, is full of works in progress, including the butterfly and moth paintings that were included in the Transmission LA exhibition at MOCA. He joked about the fact that he was named after the herb, “sage” by his hippie parents. He is endlessly enthusiastic about living in Los Angeles, stating "I love L.A., its uncontrived exoticness, it is never ending and stretching… it is just a total brain-fuck to be here. I love how weird it is, always, and it just makes me feel sane to be here.” His dad recently moved to New Mexico, and has asked Sage to come out for an eclipse, for which Sage is considering renting a camper to make the drive with his wife.

Sage explained that at one point in his career, he became frustrated thinking he was painting only for kids, but then on a studio visit with Chris Burden and viewing Metropolis II, an elaborate sculpture utilizing toy cars, he instantly felt better and confident about his direction as an artist. Also present in the studio are large sculptural wall works that have never been shown, and a collection of exquisite masks that were constructed a few years ago. His eyes lit up when talking about contemporary painters, and specifically when he saw Daniel Richter’s works for the first time. Then our conversation quickly flipped to ”Easy Rider”, an American biker magazine, and the magazine clippings that will be turned into surrealistic collaged postcards, and eventually mailed out. Later this year, Sage will be showing new works in China, for which he is currently working on in his studio the day we arrived." - David John

Read the full interview here at Freunde von Freunden.
Photography by Zen Sekizawa.