The Paintings of Shawn McDonough
By Fredy López
Irreverent? Heretical? Provocative?
That and much more is Shawn McDonough, a painter who continually shocks with his Renaissance aesthetics. His newest collection is called, “Encarnación”, and is composed of six paintings in which McDonough brings the fantasy of sacred images down to the terrestrial plane. In one painting, for example, the Archangel Gabriel, with genitals exposed, provocatively tells Mary that she will bare a child; meanwhile Mary overtly touches her vagina, her pleasure revealed in her expression. With these works, McDonough creates a magical and erotic world; a world where reality and dreams come together.
Five of McDonough’s pieces are displayed in the form of a Catholic altarpiece. The other, a circular painting of an enormous vagina, hangs from the ceiling in the middle of the small exposition space, a fly lingering on the voluptuous thigh.
The painter says: “The INCARNATION is the theological principal upon which the Christian faith is founded— God’s decision to become man in Jesus. But God would enter the world only with the consent of a woman. The exhibition ENCARNACION explores and celebrates all of the archetypal implications of this consent of Mary the Ever-Virgin, Mary the Lone Provider, Mary the Vain Matron, Mary the Sister in Ceremony, etc.”
Shawn McDonough is originally from Los Angeles, California, where he studied art in the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design. He has lived in Mexico for twelve years, during six of which he has resided in San Cristobal. In 2006, McDonough received the PECDA grant given by CONECULTA Chiapas.
This is not the first time the McDonough explores religious themes with his art. Rather, it seems that the painter “wants to lift the chastity veil that insists on covering the sacred, and not the profane.” His most recent expositions keep with the theme: “Crucifixación” (2003), “La Inmaculada Concepción” (2003), “Santo Ya No” (2004), and “Derepentecostés” (2005).
McDonough says: “My interest as a painter is not so much in making art, as in making icons. In the presence of the religious icon, it is supposed that the viewer enters into a direct, two-way communication with the archetypal theme represented; so that the artist, having produced a mere variation on that theme, disappears.”
Back to main page/Regresar a la página principal: Encarnación
More images/Más imágenes: Encarnación
Opening Photos/Fotos de la Inauguración: Encarnación
Preparing the Gallery for Encarnación
Bio/Biografía: Shawn McDonough
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