Transgressive Artist, Iconoclast, Philosopher, Author, Documentarian and Filmmaker
Shane Bugbee was raised on the deceptively quaint, curving streets and apartment complexes of the suburban subdivisions that overtook the forests and farms of Western Chicagoland in the 1970s and 80s. This served as a catalyst for group think and mob mentality and sent him into a lifelong quest to understand the minds of the mad and communicate the importance of independent and critical thought.
Shane’s publishing career began more than two decades ago, with a monthly underground art and politics magazine he founded while living in his car as a teenager and continued by taking on the first amendment fight, publishing several artists whose work was deemed obscene by narrow-minded juries of peers and legislators.
In addition to publishing, Shane Bugbee has owned and operated several art galleries that specialized in controversial works, created a number of counterculture music and arts festivals, hosted a series of radio shows that have delved into the depths of mind and interviewed guests as diverse as scientists, comedians, heavy metal bands, cult leaders, CIA operatives, political dissidents, DIY cultural leaders, banned artists, and homicidal psychopaths.
After making the acquaintance of the organization’s founder, Anton LaVey, Bugbee was ordained a High Priest of the Church of Satan. Bugbee appreciated the gesture and accepted this honorary title, as he viewed the “Church of Satan” as more of an art/political movement than a religion (not unlike the Black Panthers or the Yippies). Following LaVey’s death, Bugbee watched in dismay as the “organization” degenerated into a standard group-think society bent upon establishing uniform thought with little of the individualistic nature the group was built on. He was one of the first High Priests to denounce the new group and walk away. Many have followed his lead in the years since.
Most recently, Shane Bugbee embarked on a year-long traveling documentation of America and the reality of the American Dream. He published over 150 short videos on his website http://www.ayearatthewheel.com. A full-length film and book will be released in November 2011—just in time for the next election year in America.
Bugbee is also a sculptural, photographic, and conceptual artist. He has been the subject of numerous articles and interviews, from Spin Magazine to the Boston Globe. He has appeared on various television talk shows and is featured in a book about the Transgressive Art Movement called Art That Kills, by George Petros.
Shane Bugbee currently resides quietly in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and turtle.
PHOTO CREDIT: Margaret Jacobsen