David Moriarty - HALCYON DAZE

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Review by Bradley Rubenstein on CULTURE CATCH





David Moriarty paintings  -  Sept 7 to 28, 2010


A reflective state, reminiscing to a calm, warm and fuzzy time under the influence of something or other, as in a daze.  I threw it at the wall as a title for the exhibition and it stuck. The good old  what ? days.  I liked the disconnect, it seemed to fit with the spirit of the paintings.


In constructing a picture I have a few favorite leitmotifs and ongoing challenges.

  • Lately I have been thinking a lot about the color blue.  I have concluded I like it and would like to do a lot more with it.
  • Drop shadows are very sexy.  It’s a relatively easy concept to master and I try and use it as often as I can.
  • I like humor. If I have it, it comes from my Irish grandmother.  She was well versed in the sly quip, she could make you laugh or cry in an instant.


The figure paintings in the exhibition are part of a series I referred to as fractured fairy tales, (see Rocky and Bullwinkle).  These oddball double portraits of children and animals are fictional commissions, painted in somewhat of a classical illustrative style.  My intent was to take the hubris and pomp of the regal portrait and relish it with mildly lewd intentions.  By painting in such a descriptive manner I was able to plunder into provocative issues of sexuality, race, gender attitudes, religious and political affiliations and mythology and mine the consequences of the unexpected miscegenation of content.


What happened in the process of painting the portrait was a search for meaning.  The painting would start out with say a Gainsboroughish Blue Boy and change or morph into a few more personas with different dynamics before it would become a double portrait of Brittany Spears or Brier Rabbit with a six pack of Buds.  I was trying to get to a place I hadn’t seen before that had some stones.


Similarly, the still life abstractions evolved from a painting memory.  In cleaning up around the yard I sawed an obsolete hot tub and stacked in car size chunks to take to the dump.  The forms resembled some kind of suburban cubist sculpture and the more I would walk by it the more I became resolved to paint it.  I made up a joke about this luxury bathtub now a worthless piece of junk returning for a second act.  Cubism on crutches.   I became obsessed with the forms, their fantastically imaginative historical associations and the color orange from the spray on urethane.


Anxiety is an all-welcoming and tireless taskmistress / muse of life and art and I like most grapple with maintaining a balance.  Diet, checkbook, substance abuse and relationships are places to work at keeping your balance.  Art is a place where loosing that equilibrium often makes more sense.



installation view - (l) DONED, 2009; and (r) Cuborock w/Lampshade, 2009.

installation view - Red Beer H.T., 2009.

installation view - (l) Bunny, Beers and Babe, As Is, 2008.

installation view

David Moriarty - H.T. #1, 2008.

David Moriarty - H.T #2., 2008.

David Moriarty - Brittany's, 2008.

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