Please don’t stop loving me, the gallery’s 4th personal McDermott & McGough exhibition, will present, in
exclusivity, the latest paintings by the couple of dandies who constantly define our contemporariness society
through images resurfacing from the past. Like their deliberately historically accurate photographic work, their
painting draw inspiration from the metaphorical value of images that live on in our collective subconscious.
This new exhibition is the counterpart of the exhibition early in 2006 at the Cheim & Read Gallery in New York on
the theme of hidden sexuality with canvases only portraying men. In this new series, the subjects are only women,
the artists wishing to present here a feminine vision of life, more spiritual than the first:
My inspiration was from « B » female film stars. Most who never made it and 1950’s romance comic books. But
this crying, desperate women series is not about actresses, film or kitsch. Its not a nostalgic look to what was. I feel
the moment that these images are frozen in (the film still or comic drawing), is about change, an opportunity to
take pain, heartache, fear and desperation to another realm of possibilities. Somewhat how the Buddhist’s see
order in chaos.
This new series of some twenty paintings is constructed according to the same iconographic structure, similar to
that of comic strip plates, confronting or juxtaposing portraits of women, scenes from Hollywood films or
sentimental comic strips of the 1950s, in a paradoxical duality, underpinned by the contrast between realism and
fiction, between black and white and colour.
Fixed on canvas and cut off from the narrative context from which they stem, showing desperate women, all
paintings have a strong dramatic impact that the artists intensify by choosing highly evocative titles: With an
anxious heart, Now after all those things you told me, There wasn’t a thing left to say, How could it end like
this ?... The design of the canvas, its image and its story seem to be based on Magritte’s interpretation of words and
images, on the fragmentation and the mystery of its images.
Considering that all periods cohabit the present, McDermott & McGough refuse the diktats of contemporary time
and “live” in the period that they feel to be the most favourable, that is to say the late 19th and early to mid 20th
centuries. They invite us to share their vision of the illusion of time as they recreate the atmosphere of a specific
period. They take us with them in their travel back in time through a scrupulous and meticulous reproduction of
vintage documents to give their works the greatest possible authenticity, like a lost treasure miraculously preserved
in a buried world. They go as far as giving dates to their images from the period, such as here: 1963, 1965…
McDermott & McGough make the Freudian undercurrents of American society in the 1950s resurface in this
exhibition. Behind the appearance of a world of idealised beauty there is hidden despair, solitude, murder and
adultery, things that make you tremble. In these paintings, women are beautiful, well dressed, in lush interiors, but
living in deep sadness – all this beauty seems, suddenly, about to fall apart… The artists give us their vision of this
traditional American theme, in the same way as the current TV series Desperate Housewives. In the image of Pop
Art but paradoxically always through a very contemporary theme, McDermott & McGough examine in this
exhibition America’s marriage of spic-and-span consumerism with sex and violence.
PRESS CONTACT : Emmanuelle de Noirmont / Ludyvine Travers
Tel : + 33 (0)1 42 89 89 00 / Fax : +33 (0)1 42 89 89 03 / e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
IMAGES 300 dpi available on our website / access codes on request at the gallery.
CATALOGUE available from January 18, 2007 on. All exhibited works illustrated in color.
French/English interview between David McDermott and Peter McGough.