All should be or will soon be perfect—with the help of the latest purchase—or if that is not enough than surely there's a pharmaceutical drug that can help cover up that nagging sense of discontent. An entire society is in flight from reality. As our planetary ecosystem increasingly shows signs of buckling under the rapacious demands of human extraction, manufacturing and consumption we will one day, in the perhaps not too distant future, discover the inescapable truth of human and even planetary mortality.
The paintings and sculpture of Jonathan Shimony investigate a world spinning out of control. The mad quest for power and money has increasingly led to a vision of humans as little different from commodities bought and sold in the market. The list of corruption in various parts of American business and government seems unending. There is no apparent limit to the number of human lives willingly sacrificed without regret to advance the power and wealth of those already holding the most important reins of society.
Michael McCarthy's works, seemingly serene and peaceful, engender feelings of anxiety as we linger with them. The near absence of human references leads one to wonder where the humans have gone. Might these series of photographs be traces of the (beautiful and beguiling) calm after the storm and violence depicted in so many of the paintings by Shimony? Pictures of a world left behind, no longer occupied by humans?