In the digital and internet era the contemporary creations of Michael McCarthy are unique and unexpected and his approach is strikingly original. In 2012, Galerie Duboys presented a selection of Michael’s self-portraits during the Human Form exhibition. This work transgressed the traditions of photography techniques and surfaces as he sought images which went beyond the traditional frozen portraits. The photographer became painter as he explored the distance between subject and image and a confrontation between darkroom and artist studio. Materials were pushed and pulled, scratched and pierced to ultimately reveal finished works where subject, technique and material came together as one cohesive whole.
For this new exhibit, Michael McCarthy has turned his attention to the landscape while continuing his investigations of the intersection between the photography, painting and drawing worlds. Many of these latest photographic images were created during a two year stay in the Aegean Sea on a Greek island. The original photographs have been reworked and developed through numerous photographic and other processes to create disquieting landscapes from an undetermined past–or might they instead be images of the world at some future time?
These works seize and envelope the viewer. They are at once familiar and strange, a world we know but transformed into something unfamiliar and unsettling. The photographic medium has been transcended and forgotten. The images are at once real and imaginary, speaking of the concrete and the emotional. Materiel, technique, memory and history coalesce within the paper. Landscapes from an undetermined past, perspectives from a forgotten world at a scale as surprising as it is unknown and in which the absence of the human takes on ominous qualities.
Surprising photographic work which, unlike so many still-born contemporary art discourses, addresses fundamental questions about the land, about nature, about human interaction with and dependence upon nature. There is restraint and secrecy in this work. No easy and tidy answers. Alternatively beautiful, troubling and disquieting.
History and photography major at Tyler School of Art (Philadelphia, USA), Michael McCarthy begins his career as a teacher and artist in Pennsylvania. His work has led him to take up residence in numerous countries, with extended stays in Italy (Florence, Cortona, Palermo and Rome), two years on a Greek island before returning to Paris. He has exhibited in galleries and museums in the U.S. and in Europe and has received numerous prizes for his work. His exhibition Human Form was selected as best gallery exhibition in 2012 on the blog Lunettes Rouges, written by Marc Lenot and hosted by Lemonde.fr.
Opening reception: Saturday, January 25, 2014 17h-20h, artist presentation at 18h at Galerie Duboys (6, rue des Coutures St. Gervais, Paris 3ème). Exhibition continues through February 22, 2o14.
For more information: Galerie Duboys
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