PYRO Gallery presents
a two-person show featuring
Debra Lott and Mike McCarthy
Funded with a grant from Kentucky Foundation for Women, Debra Lott presents an observation and commentary on the mass media’s portrayal of flawless, unattainable feminine ideals in magazines, movies and music videos. Her paintings form satirical statements that incorporate figurative distortion and exaggeration while mocking the media’s use of melodramatic, erotic and often implausible poses. The intent beyond the aesthetics is to engage viewers, raise awareness and stimulate dialogue among young girls and women.
“As a woman raising a daughter and as a retired high school teacher, I’ve experienced and observed first-hand the negative effects of these ultra-thin media images. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to alter the media’s representation of the “ideal body“, for as we know “thinness sells”.
“This show is a departure into socially conscious art; it is also an extension of my past work. I have always enjoyed painting the female form. Until now, the work took a naturalistic form. The absurdity of my source material inspired me to take the work in a more experimental direction. The subject matter shaped my perspective on the figures and they began to take on a life of their own. Loose, thicker brushstrokes added an emotional, psychological dimension to the paintings. This project has altered both the way I view mass media and the possibilities of my art.”
Mike McCarthy offers both realistic and fanciful stone animal heads presented in unique ways to express movement in such a static material.
“When thinking of animals, some words that one might typically be used to describe them are movement, soft as in fur, or light as a feather. Quite the opposite, words typically used to describe stone are more likely to be stationary, hard as rock or heavy and solid. So how can stone be transformed so that it communicates the essence of animals? This is what I find fascinating and one of the reasons I chose to focus on creating little creatures that express softness, movement or flight, or maybe all three. I hope the way some of these creatures are mounted might indicate flight or wind blowing through hair. I hope that the finishes invite viewers to touch the pieces to feel how soft the stone is. While the stone is physically heavy, some of that weight should disappear visually. This show is my attempt to breathe life into these creatures, no matter if they are realistic or fantastical creatures I made up, and make the viewer want to believe they are not the heavy static rocks they once were. “