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Wheelhouse Collective

Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia — Inspiration Experience #313

by Cathy Solarana

I love being surprised — not scary surprised, I hate that, but creatively surprised, where I’m inspired by what I see. That is exactly what happened when I went to see the Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver. It was one of the best exhibitions I’ve been to.

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I grew up listening to Punk and New Wave music and one of my favorite bands was DEVO, of which Mark was a founding member and lead singer. There was much love for the eclectic band and its unique and quirky members, but, until now, I never knew the depth of his creative genius. Mr. Mothersbaugh is a musician, singer, writer, composer and artist. There seems to be nothing he hasn’t done or couldn’t do. He’s truly one the most creative people in the world.

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The sheer amount of projects displayed in his first-ever retrospective was mind-blowing. He created altered photos and drawings on all kinds of paper both large and small; music videos and shorts; a Roly Poly installation of hand made ceramic characters about to dance; a room of rythmetic inventions, including one that makes music by pushing air through a collection of bird calls; there was an eclectic wall of comical rugs and some sporadically placed record players with samplings from a few of the hundreds of musical scores and soundtracks he has written and produced over the years, from movies, TV and video games like: Pee-wee’s Playhouse, The Sims 2 and The Life Aquatic. But one of the most impressive experiences, was this incredible room full of over 35,000 postcard-sized drawings, all in neatly placed albums on low platforms that you could flip through. Mothersbaugh has been creating these images every single day for decades. Geesh slacker.

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Myopia roly poly painting

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Myopia left me jubilant and itching to dig out and play my old DEVO records on my turntable all while being mega inspired to create, create, and create some more. Now, isn’t that the point of it all? Get out, do something outside of your day-to-day and be inspired.

“Weave to the left, bob to the right or you’ll be a flat tire on the highway of life.”
– DEVO 1979

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If you get a chance, go see it for yourself, through April 12, 2015 at MCA. You can find more information on the exhibit here:


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