"I was asked by a great collector––a real great collector, one of those collectors who is crazier than the artists they collect––to reimagine Birth of Venus by Botticelli. He sent me to Rome. From there, I took the train to Florence and I sat in front of that piece for hours. I’m not kidding––I must have heard half dozen different tour guides give their pitches about that piece. My studio manager, who I took along for a team building exercise, smuggled almost a quarter of mushrooms and ate them in the cafe across the plaza. He wandered from one ornately decorated room to the next, wondering why the Renaissance masters painted so many people barefoot and with ugly toes.
"It wasn't until later when I realized what was so important about that particular Botticelli piece: it survived. He painted other works, better works (and so did Da Vinci), but those didn't make it to 2020. They didn't survive the evolutions of culture and chaos that the centuries brought with them. I may be looking at things through a very specific lens, but I think that my point of view holds merit. What is interesting and beautiful in the natural world holds true to the works of man." -Sage Vaughn
ABOUT Sage Vaughn:
Born in Oregon but raised in the San Fernando Valley, Vaughn first learned to draw with the help of his father, a commercial artist for Disney. “That’s how my dad and I hung out—we made art,” he says. Despite his penchant for drawing and painting, Vaughn decided to forgo pursuing a career in art in favor of studying to become a doctor. But after three years at the University of California, Santa Cruz, he dropped out and returned to Los Angeles to work construction while honing his painting style in a makeshift studio in a friend’s garage.
In 2001, Vaughn teamed up with his grandmother for his debut exhibition at a community center in the Valley. Within the next few years, he was showing in New York and San Francisco. By 2006, his work was featured in exhibitions in both the United States and abroad including group and solo shows at leading-edge galleries like The DACTYL Foundation for the Arts, New York; Galerie Bertrand & Gruner, Geneva; Lazarides, London; Art Agents Gallery, Hamburg, Germany, and at art fairs such as ArtLA in Los Angeles, VOLTA at the Whitney Biennial in New York, and ArtBrussels in Belgium.