12/11/2021 - 28/11/2021

Contemporary - Painting

John McCarthys - You Iz A Machine

“I’ve always collected vintage images. Old comics, magazines, posters and books, not in a ‘stick ’em in a big bag in the loft’ kind of way, but stored in large white boxes and placed in large white cupboards. Stanley Kubrick did the same thing (though his was a warehouse).

They’re not precious, though. I didn’t mind if they get damaged or creased up. In fact they sometimes look better if they are damaged. This lead to an idea of making paper collages of the ripped and torn images. I did quite a few small versions of these on birch panels and exhibited them. They all sold really quickly. In fact, I don’t have any left in the studio. Not one. This lead to another idea of making paintings of the paper collages I had made. They were the same size. Sometimes you couldn’t tell which were the paper collages and which were the paintings. I liked this idea. Eventually, I made more paper collages (digitally) and turned them into more paintings.

This lead to another idea of making large paintings of the paper collages. This exhibition; YOU IZ A MACHINE, brings together those paintings for the first time. The title of the show came from a conversation I overheard about getting things done. All artists are machines.” – John McCarthy September 2021


Greenwich 9 Turnpin Lane, SE10 9JA