Dan McCarthy, ‘Untitled Drawing’, 2013, ICI Annual Benefit & Auction 2013

McCarthy applies oil paint so lightly that the effect looks like watercolor or gouache. His subjects have included women on surfboards, rainbows, fish, and triangular mountain tops, all done in phosphorescent paint strokes at once meticulous and swift.

Image rights: Courtesy of the artist and Anton Kern

About Dan McCarthy

Dan McCarthy’s cartoonish oil and acrylic paintings explore subjects such as mountains, birds, rainbows, fish, and scantily clad men and women with surfboards, skateboards, and guitars, rendered in a simple, two-dimensional style. He typically paints figures in thin pastel-colored washes on white canvases, sometimes allowing drips to run down the canvas. Images such as Deckhand (#11) (2003), in which a halo-like rainbow surrounds a young man in bathing briefs, are thought to be based on Catholic iconography, and in other paintings figures hold up their hands and arms in gestures reminiscent of Christ. McCarthy also produces word-pictures that spell out text, such as Strange Town (2013), an acrylic painting on marbleized gesso, in which the artist has crudely scrawled, “THE JAM” and “THE STRANGLERS.”

American, b. 1962, Honolulu, Hawaii, based in Brooklyn, New York

Group Shows

New York,
Kate MacGarry,