Text: Alec Coiro
All Images Courtesy of Tennis Elbow
Add Dan McCarthy to this list of art exhibits to help you through the winter. He, in his typical style, is showing smiling faces and rainbows. The rainbows are glossy paintings, so richly rendered that the paint drips down. The smiling face is sculpted out of clay.
These are art works not emojis, so one supposes a touch of irony mixed in with these signifiers. The smiling face, for example, is entitled Space Ghost, and is looks slightly burnt and highly textured, giving the impression that this space ghosts had a rough trip through the atmosphere. But the smile persists. The drips of the rainbows suggest a tearful decay, but again, their colors persist. The painting entitled April Fools furthers the impression that there is a coy humor behind the rainbow. Indeed this primarily yellow, pink, blue, and green one bears a close resemblance to a rainbow McCarthy created a year previous entitled Smoke Signals, where the rainbow is depicted saying (or thinking) “stoned again.” This rainbow quote strikes me as both a pun on the marbleized texture of the work and the psychedelic multiplicity of means that accompany these rainbows’ multiplicity of colors. McCarthy has said that he attempt to imbue his work with a “sense of spontaneity,” and what could be more charged than a single moment before your forebrain can refine the meanings.
It’s been a good few months for rainbows. We were just treated to Jack Early’s Rainbow, based on his musical by the same name at Mulier-Mulier in Belgium. Now it seem another rainbow show has been added to spectrum.