The work represented on the website spans a long period of time and several distinct bodies of work. Most recently I have been combining images of landscape and still life, as well as the continuation of images of men in the landscape. Most of the paintings contain art historical references. This is, in part, a reflection of my love of spending time in museums and galleries looking at paintings. Whether looking at the work of a single person, or the artistic output of a whole culture, it is possible to learn something about their values by looking at their art.
It's easy, for example, to dismiss a Rococo painting as silly, but I like to imagine a painter in a studio in 18th century France backing away from an easel, and talking to a colleague, 'it's nice but it would be better with more flying babies'. What kind of culture encourages that decision, and how could you resist thinking about the values that decision implies? Was the culture fun loving, sensuous, decadent? Was this vision embraced by the culture that produced it, or was it rejected? From my point of view every painting we make is in dialogue with every painting that came before. While this may not be unique to painting, it isn't true of sculpture or drawing, for example. Sculpture has physical presence that is very much about the present; it exists with us. Drawing is closely linked to thinking and is useful as a window into a person's thoughts. In both cases the historical precedents recede. I tend to use the continuum of painting to document how things change; the work is about us, not about painting or history.
Feel free to ignore the writing; it's here for those who are so inclined. The work is intentionally accessible and can be enjoyed on it's own terms.
Matthew McConville 2012