I’d be tempted by same assumption, but they could also be mural sized…?
Leaning toward Cadmus, away from Tooker. I’d be curious to know if Mr. McCann considers himself to be an inheritor of the magic(al) realist tendency, or if the evidence is merely circumstantial. Looking at these, I imagine that he would acknowledge it, but downplay it. It’s a problematic label.
Not to be overly reductive, but I wonder if social satire is by nature incompatible with the uncanny?
First two are larger. I don’t have exacts, but I’m guessing 8′ on the longer side. Last one is small, under 20″s on both sides.
Good question, AMB. Mike Kelley’s work incorporates occassional social satire and he’s stated an interest in the uncanny. That said, I’m not sure that even he’s gotten both into any one piece successfully.
it’s funny; in literature, ‘magical realism’ maintains a more dynamic fantastical energy: a sense of play, lightness, suspense…
i guess if you have the luxury of time and space (400-odd-pages or so) within which to build layers and connective allusion, the magic of the thing seems more reliable and imbedded in a way that leaves room for social critique.
in painting, what often falls into the same genre, so much of the time feels really Orwellian to me. stark and possible in a grim sense. not invoking magic as much as expose.
Agreed. I wonder if the difference is partly inherent in the trajectory of literature and painting, historically. We have more or less willingly trashed lightness and play in painting, in order to further promote the sobriety of our endeavor, and appease the intellectual gods. To work with “dynamic fantastical energy” is to be relegated to the backwaters. File under eccentric. You certainly won’t see it filed under Relevant. To compensate, perhaps, fantastical painters seem to err on the side of grim.
What I miss in painting is a sense of freewheeling invention, and the willingness to risk, dare I say, elegance. What has risen in that particular void? If it’s something really good, I can’t find it, beyond the occasional and isolated nice surprise. The machinations of pop surrealism, trying really hard to look like the heir apparent, seem so cynical somehow. There’s something really morbid and depressing about it. Vampiric. Maybe I’m just looking for a pulse.
Some of the dissonance, I think comes just from bad labelling. That term “Magic Realism” means really very different things in art than it does in literature. “Minimalism” suffers from similar mismatch–though in that case the art is generally more subtle and challenging than literature. There are plenty of artists that I’d match up with authors like Garcia Marquez, Calvino et al.—Julie Heffernan, Jim McGarrell, Paula Rego even Matthew Barney. It’s just that the label has already been applied to, and slightly exhausted by a lot of Fantasy art and WPA-type painting that makes any slight nod to surrealism.
It’s an interesting thought…who might the label be better applied to?
I agree with your assessment. Trying Googling “magic realism” and see the scary things that pop up. Not a pretty sight.
As for people who actually do the label justice, I always think of Gregory Gillespie, his early to mid period stuff particularly, before the limb snapped. A nice combination of formal arrangement, meticulous craft, and warped psychology. I mean metaphysically warped, not psychotic….although a lot of people don’t seem to know the difference.
James Valerio comes to mind as well, in a different way. His stuff is almost too tight to work, though…it doesn’t breath very easily. Roller Wilson is just too busy WRITING. IN ALL CAPS.
Who else, indeed?
I guess I’m looking for the direct descendants of de Chirico. Spiritually remote and slightly melancholic, Saturnine….as opposed to grim or self consciously indulgent, ala Barney. Heffernan comes close, maybe, but she seems a little too politicized somehow, referencing the Baroque so closely.
Jeez, I’m a tough audience. Just a hopeless Romantic at heart, I guess. That’s something I never quite mentioned in grad school…..wonder why?
I freely admit that I blew off Mr. Rauch initially. I couldn’t separate him from the hype. I looked at two or three of his paintings, thought they looked like glorified faux naive pastiche ramblings, and forgot about him.
I was suffering from professional envy at the time, I’m sure. I wasn’t looking at much art, and what I did see usually pissed me off. Now that I’ve made peace with obscurity, I can go back and see what I missed.
That’s a persuasive article. He probably fits the bill. I can’t get the enlargements, but I’ll look him up again……thanks.
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