Anthony Ausgang's MGMT album art

In hipster history, the 1990s saw a resurgence in kitschy countercultural pastimes like swing dancing, tattoo culture, and tiki/retro lounge. At the same time, an underground art movement associated with those outre interests and born in Southern California was also catapulted into view. Fueled by the Internet, a worldwide audience emerged for art that could have otherwise stayed firmly ensconced in the murky shadows of the art world and underground culture. This new art scene was tongue-in-cheekily referred to as "Lowbrow," and it championed a sense of working class ethics and the festishization of nostalgia and countercultural imagery in a cartoony, fun manner. Anthony Ausgang is celebrated as a pioneer of Lowbrow. His tripped-out, surrealistic narratives feature cartoon characters in exaggeratedly provocative situations. Today on Boing Boing, Ausgang debuts his newest painting, an album cover for psych-rock duo MGMT's new record Congratulations, to be released on April 13 on Columbia. Ausgang's next solo show is in November at Santa Monica's CoproGallery. Last weekend, I spoke with Ausgang about Lowbrow, Pop Surrealism, and the MGMT connection. Read the rest