Gaughan has an MFA in Painting from San Francisco Art Institute, a BFA in Painting from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and an MEd in Art Education from the University of Minnesota. He has been a visiting artist at the Walker Art Center, and at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, and has been a visiting lecturer at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Maryland Institute College of Art. He has exhibited his paintings in numerous group and solo shows including Burnet Gallery in Minneapolis, Deitch Projects at Art Basel Miami, Deplayer in Rotterdam, Portland Institute for Contemporary Arts in Oregon, the Ace Hotel in New York City, the Soap Factory, Soo Vac Gallery, Co-Exhibitions, and Familia Skateshop. He has been interviewed and featured in The Onion A/V Club, Beautiful Decay, Popular Mechanic, Make, City Pages, Irish American News, 89.3 the Current, and Radio K. He has made illustrations for Burton, Nike, American Apparel, Rhymesayers Entertainment Weekly, Jagjaguwar Records, Troma Films, CityPages, and other musical arts, magazines, and film projects. Michael has orchestrated over ten city-wide scavenger hunts as performance art/public art. He collaborated with larger institutions to create larger scale, more accessible scavenger hunts when he was a visiting artist at the Walker Art Center 2007, at the University of Minnesota 2007, and at the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art 2008.