Andrew Maughan (b.1987 Newcastle-upon-Tyne) is a London-based artist who works predominantly in painting and sculpture. Before the Royal Academy Schools, Maughan studied at Northumbria University.
The Great Assassin These paintings centre around a protagonist called the Great Assassin, inspired by the Zodiac serial killer: a white man who murdered people, used the media to spread fear and increase his infamy, and got away with it. Pictured at cinematic scale, the Assassin wears a hooded mask made of black hair. Half-glimpsed in wing-mirrors, he is caught in moments between action – seen in his car, driving through rain, smoking a cigarette.
In an act inspired by Bertolt Brecht, blank eyes are cut directly from the canvas, breaking the painting’s fourth wall. Menacing in its ambiguity, the work addresses tropes of power and its abuse, as the Assassin cuts a sinister figure in vivid landscapes.
A Dream You Dream Alone A Dream You Dream Alone was conceived on a trip to Beirut in 2019, during the October Revolution. As people took to the streets to protest decades of government corruption, the heavy presence of the Lebanese flag signalled a new nationalism that transcended the sectarianism dominant in Lebanese politics. Improvised structures – made of hastily-welded metal, weighed down by tyres and sandbags – displayed these flags and sold them to passers-by.
Tote bags, meanwhile, are totems of the art world, signifiers of relationships to institutions. Those from far-flung biennials or local artist-run spaces are signs of insider-ship and exclusivity, a semiotics meant to be read by art-literate others. In bringing these together, the work invites questions about the outward faces of the art world, its own forms of nationalism, ability to contribute to activism, and our complicity in the very politics we make work about.
Aeroplane Windows This series emerged from an ambivalence and medicated-fear around flying. Beside the problematics of the tourism industry and rhetorics of global connectedness, the work addresses the way the art world valorises internationalism from continent-hopping artists and curators, while simultaneously aligning itself with the moral urgencies of climate change.
Born: 1987 in Newcastle on Tyne
RA Schools student from 2018 to 2022