PADUCAH, KY (03/29/2018) Paducah photographer and artist Philip McCabe's recent work examines narcissism within culture. "Existential Vacuum" will open with a free reception April 6 at 5 p.m. to close the visual arts exhibitions for the 2017-18 West Kentucky Community and Technical College's Clemens Fine Arts Center.
Narcissism comes from the Greek myth of Narcissus, the handsome young man who falls in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Sigmund Freud also introduced the concept of narcissism in psychoanalytic theory. This personality disorder seems to be at the heart of McCabe's photography.
"I wish to explore (expose) the desire for expressing the common lunacies, which plague our current state of cultural communication. A lifestyle of habitual (pathological) expression has consumed our networked earth. Where everyone has a viewpoint to express, but we are all too busy talking to listen," said McCabe. "Individuals desperate to be heard and accounted for have given raise to vast empires of social media content in which a one button click or tap has become an acceptable reply to (in)human interactions. Who is really listening to what we are saying?", he said.
With an art career spanning twenty years and exhibitions covering multiple regions and subjects, McCabe, who recently discovered a passion for creating abstract and impressionistic paintings, said his new artwork employs a blend of photography and painting with formal inspiration from comic books to establish a contrivance of all three mediums.
"Working with paint [versus photography] has allowed me to discover a spontaneous element in my work process. I find the medium of painting to be liberating," said McCabe.
When Clemens Fine Arts Center Interim Director Todd Birdsong first saw McCabe's paintings, he was impressed with how he was able to translate his experience with photography to another medium in terms of two-dimensional design concepts. "Photography deals with mostly being representational and documenting moments, whereas his paintings are created internally driven by some unknown narrative," said Birdsong.
"Existential Vacuum" will be on display in the Clemens Gallery through May 11.
For more information about the exhibit or about the Clemens Fine Arts Center contact Todd Birdsong at firstname.lastname@example.org, (270) 534-3220