Saturday, October 22, 2016

Artist Duo McDermott & McGough’s Show Critiques Sexual Oppression

By Carey Dunne
McDermott & McGough, “Hic Habitat Felicitas” / Temple of Onan” (detail) (1984 / 2016) (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic unless otherwise noted)
In the Book of Genesis, God strikes down Onan, the second son of Judah, for the crime of masturbating. In "Velvet Rage, Flaming Youth, and the Gift of Desperation," a show by artist duo McDermott & McGough at James Fuentes Gallery, Onan gets a gaudy shrine: Three gold-framed paintings picture him masturbating into cotton candy-colored clouds. They’re hung above a carved wooden table composed of phalluses sprouting from breasts, modeled after a table from the collection of Catherine the Great. This very literal celebration of self-love is the centerpiece of a show filled with similarly campy critiques of homosexual oppression through the ages. [link]
McDermott & McGough, “‘Hic Habitat Felicitas’ / Temple of Onan” (1984 / 2016), oil on canvas in wooden gold painted frame, hand-carved wooden table painted with oil and gouache, two ceramic urns painted with acrylic gouache (image courtesy James Fuentes)
McDermott & McGough, “God Answers Your Prayers” (1984 / 2016), oil on canvas and artist’s wooden frame, 18 x 18.25 inches