Foibles - Seems Books

Foibles, Keegan McHargue

20 pages (2 foldout posters 20” x 28”)
Folio bound
4 color offset printing
10” x 14”
Limited edition 500 copies


About Keegan McHargue

Keegan McHargue was born in Portland, Oregon in 1982, and currently lives and works in New York. He has had solo exhibitions at Jack Hanley Gallery in San Francisco, Rivington Arms, Metro Pictures, and The Wrong Gallery in New York City, Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin in Paris, and Hiromi Yoshii Gallery in Tokyo. His work is part of several public collections, including the Deste Foundation in Athens, and the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, as well as the New York Museum of Modern Art.

McHargue combines banal interiors, pattern, and disjointed figures to create dystopic paintings and drawings that reference both art history and the psyche. His flattened compositions, simplified shapes, and neat planes of color echo the artificial, mannered nature of his scenes. These elements belie a darker narrative than may first appear.

About the Book

The Foibles are an imaginary family that has existed for a very long time.

The word "foible" actually comes from the proper name of the family, and has been accepted into common parlance.

They are the google-eyed little guys that appear throughout the book.

I first drew them when I was in the 3rd grade, although they have been dormant ever since. At first I thought they were simply little mischief-makers I used to put down in my school pad, and it wasn't until they resurfaced in my work decades later that I understood exactly who they were and what they were up to.

The Foible family is very large, nearing the point of omnipresence. In fact, wherever there is a human, there is a great chance that a Foible will be close at hand.

The Foibles are watchers.

Throughout history, the Foibles have been present at every little indiscretion, every lack of judgment, every miscommunication, every sign of personal weakness. In short, every time someone blunders, a member of the Foible family is destined to be nearby.

The Foibles have been privy to many situations that started out as small indiscretions and snow-balled into world-changing events.

You never know when a Foible will be looking over the headboard of your bed...

Or peeping through your window at night...

Or farting at a surprisingly audible level during a business meeting...

Or plagiarizing parts of a famous essay on macroeconomics... even though it goes unnoticed...

Or posting testy anonymous messages on their friend’s blog only to get caught later by the style of their writing...

Or sneaking a sniff of a stranger's bicycle seat.

I have attempted to give unbiased and fair depictions of the Foibles in their natural environments without any embellishments.

I am of no relation to this family, although I have come across plenty of them in my lifetime.


Keegan McHargue 2009