Richard McGuire

One thing I noticed while putting this post together was how many of the artists in the upcoming Summer Drawing Show are so fluent in multiple mediums-all of them actually. But especially when you consider Richard McGuire, Geoff McFetridge and Ben jones (McJones?), who all work in film, fine art, design, music, comics, objects, products, and illustration. And they are all about 10-15 years older than each other, so if you line them up in a row, its a bit like three generations of this very modern kind of artist who didnt exist fifty years ago, where the fields you worked in were much more rigid. These three guys do it all and bring so much vision and personality to whatever it is they are doing. So its incredibly exciting to have them all showing together for the first time. Thursday night!

When writing about Richard McGuire, it is a little daunting-where to even begin? The guy has done, and continues to do, a lot of different things, all with a certain modernist bent.
But I guess, why not start with a video of a guy in his pajamas playing the bass:

That bassline, supposedly one of the most, if not, THE most sampled pieces of music ever, was made famous by Grandmaster Flash, but was originally written for the Liquid Liquid song "Cavern" by McGuire. So beyond everything else you will see from this guy, you can add on top of it all that he wrote one of the catchiest goddamn basslines of all time.

He has designed toys and games. And not like installation toys, or prototypes-real mass produced products you could, at one time, buy in toy stores.

He has drawn comics, specifically, 2 comics. the first one, "Here" published in Raw magazine sometime in the eighties, is a bonafide classic, one of the greatest short comics ever done (below is a page excerpted from it). McGuire will often use the medium he is working into be a component of the piece itself. So with "Here", the idea of panels on a page, of moments locked in a space, which are the basic elements of comics, are totally recontextualized-panels within panels of varying size showing the same space over the span of thousands of years. It's formalism used to great effect, creating something incredibly moving and powerful and specific to the medium. An expanded version of "Here" is meant to come out from Pantheon Books sometime in the future.

The second comic he's done was published in McSweeney's #13. The entire strip is bird eye views of mundane daily duties and routines. It is also awesome. I can't find pages of it online though, so you'll just have to buy the book.

He has done a bunch of great covers for The New Yorker. Here are some:

He made a short animated film, "Micro Loup" for french television:

Micro Loup from Richard McGuire on Vimeo.

He has made kid books:

And he made a short film as part of the Fear(s) Of The Dark anthology feature, that played in theatres and recently came out on dvd. His installment was one of the best. Here's an excerpt.

Peur du Noir from Richard McGuire on Vimeo.

He has also made sound sculptures installations, numerous posters, artist books, and continues to tour with Liquid Liquid.

There is more, but hopefully this has been a good primer for those of you out of the loop.

For further reading, you can't get much better than Comic Art #8, which has a very in depth cover feature on McGuire. I think it's still in print, at the very least we have copies in the store.
And there is a good interview online here at .
We are excited as hell to have richard in the summer drawing show. I dont know when the last time he had art for sale and display in Los Angeles, so this is a huge honor and very exciting.

posted by sammy at 10:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


wasn't he gonna be in ke 7 also?

4:37 AM  

Blogger sammy said...

We (McGuire and I) tried. He, like Dreschler and Chippendale are always asked and for some reason or other it never happens. One day.

8:20 AM  

Blogger sammy said...

And Chester brown.

8:21 AM  

Anonymous Covey said...

Somehow I didn't realize McGuire was in Liquid Liquid. That just pushed him over the top into the world of inconceivable creativity. Nice write-up, Sammy.

12:47 PM  

Anonymous Jed said...

Good post!

I’m seeing more of these do-it-all artists. I think of people like Souther Salazar, Esther Pearl Watson and other Art Center illustration people. And I think this idea is very common in fine art, think T. Murakami and Warhol even. They use many different ways to make many different things. Actually I hate labeling these people together because they are exciting for their resistance to being labeled...

12:54 PM  

Blogger Mr. Freibert said...

i didn't realize he was the same person in LIQUID LIQUID!

8:04 PM  

Anonymous vollsticks said...

So, will there ever be a Kramers Ergot 8? I, for one, REALLY hope so...keep doing what you're doing, please, Mr. Harkham!

12:22 PM  

Anonymous vollsticks said...

Nice write-up, by the way.

12:24 PM  

Blogger José-Luis said...

Thanks for the McGuire post, he's one of my heroes! Wish I was in LA to see the show.

8:11 AM  

Blogger sammy said...

yes kramers ergot 8 is happening.

6:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dig this! Have his toys and books.Keep it going!

12:56 PM  

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