Molly McGuire is a self-taught artist, born and raised in Southern Ontario, Canada near Toronto.

Working under the name “Magwire,” she is an artist and musician based in New Orleans, LA. Her most recent output is circus banners, which re-appropriate used canvasses such as drop cloths and employ oils and tinted latex house paint.

Her circus banners are featured in the TV Show, “American Horror Story” during season 4’s “Freakshow.” She also received a first-place 2012 New Orleans Press Club Award for best editorial illustration. The illustration appeared on the cover of OffBeat Magazine‘s 2012 Jazz Fest issue, themed “Preservation Hall Jazz Band of New Orleans: 50th Anniversary.”

She has performed and recorded with Frank Black, Queens of the Stone Age, Martina Topley-Bird, Mondo Generator, earthlings?, Twilight Singers, Goatsnake, The Spores, Rhudabega, Yellow #5, Inbred Bipeds, Brant Bjork and the Bro’s, Mike West and Myshkin.

She also created and performed ARUGULA— a death metal puppet band that auditioned human drummers at The Viper Room in Hollywood. She is currently involved with the musical recording project Dastardly Jones.

Molly’s artwork can be found in the French Quarter of New Orleans, LA at Red Truck Gallery, located at 938 Royal St. Red Truck Gallery

Artist’s Statement

Not What is Seems…

Every city, town and rural community has folklore that fuels an endless dialogue. Those who listen often find themselves inspired and perplexed by its beauty, mystery, fear and pathos.

In an age of conformity, it’s important to celebrate the diversity of difference — the wonderful weirdness that is part of nature and life itself, but is often marginalized in common culture.

I seek the subplot of each destination and explore underlying cul-de-sacs of representation, where truth and beauty land far outside the cultural paradigm. I suss out the essence that makes each location unique — fueled by the imaginations of the inhabitants.

These pilgrimages are a timeless waltz through history. Whether they reveal a ghost story, a village eccentric, a cryptid sighting, a recurring natural phenomenon, an unusual ceremonial practice or simply a celebrated indigenous species of plant or animal, my paintings encapsulate microcosms of the human condition — all within a circus banner.

Circus Banners

One of my fondest childhood memories is that every June, the carnival set up right behind my home in Trenton, Ontario. A 100-acre gravel flat behind our townhouse would be transformed into this magical epicenter of activity for a week, then vanish overnight as quickly as it had come.  The vacant flat would then be scoured by a fat man wielding a metal detector for a day. Otherwise, it was nothingness. I recorded the sights, sounds and smells in my mind and fell asleep thinking of them for the remaining 51 weeks of the year. It was something that transformed the town that I lived in from the most boring place to the most exciting place imaginable. I was determined to experience the thrill at all times. Where had they come from and where were they going? Something about it inspired me to run very far from where I came from later in life. In the meantime, I was forced to use my own imagination to fill the void. In my mind, everything in my life happened on the enchanted flat that could become something so much more otherworldly than itself. To this day, one of my therapeutic tendencies is to encapsulate people and scenarios from my own life in the form of a circus banner.