Dan McCarthy

Annet Gelink Gallery proudly presents the first solo exhibition in the Netherlands of American artist Dan McCarthy (1962, Honolulu, Hawaii).

His new paintings portray a seemingly paradisian universe. The subjects remind one of holiday snapshots: scenes of a pair of lovers in the setting sun, of surfers on a sun-baked beach, and of beautiful mountain scenery. The figures are surrounded by splendid nature but seem to be detached, caused by the simple, almost two-dimensional way in which Dan McCarthy conveys his subjects. There is hardly any illusion of space suggested. On the other hand, there seems to be a discrepancy between the paradisian environment in which the people have been placed and their expressions. Whenever figures laugh, it is mostly with a clownish grin, giving the paintings an almost surrealistic character.

Dan McCarthy's paintings and works on paper show a sublime technical mastery. His almost transparent use of oils reminds one of water colors. In combination with a darker and thicker use of paint, this results in enormous contrasts. These contrasts give his portraits often a disturbing effect: it seems as if with dark colors a second face or mask has been affixed.

Dan McCarthy's paintings do not have a univocal character and leave a lot to the observer's imagination. He says about this: "The key to most paintings is an open mind, patient observation, and a willingness to accept something new. My paintings are like that".