"People thought we were just Victorian queens who wanted to make little kitten paintings on pillows and be kitschy," quipped Peter McGough, one half of the collaborative duo McDermott & McGough, as he reminisced about the East Village art scene in the 1980s--where the artists met and honed their inimitable style--in a 2003 Artforum interview with Bob Nickas.
The artists have since become known for their performative fusion of art and life--namely dressing like Victorian dandies 24 hours a day and embracing archaic photographic techniques such as palladium, gum, salt and cyanotype printing. They are not escapists, however, as Roberta Smith has pointed out. "The allusions to turn-of-the-century dandyism are combined with often explicit references to homoeroticism and to the artists' own sexuality. The implication is that the moral hypocrisies of the Victorian era are still in effect today." Featuring more than 120 images, this volume, released on the occasion of McDermott & McGough's retrospective exhibition at The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin examines two decades worth of the team's photographic work and includes texts by Matthew Higgs, Director of White Columns in New York, and Sean Kissane, Curator of Exhibitions at The IMMA, Dublin."McDermott & McGough met in New York's East Village art scene in 1980, and are renowned for their performative fusion of art and life. Rebelling against the confines of chronological time, the artists appropriated imagery and objects from the late 1800s and early 1900s. They reconstructed their lives as Late 19th Century and Early 20th Century artists, dedicated to the practice of living historicity." "This volume shows two decades of photographic work by two of the least conventional and most fanciful protagonists of contemporary art. It includes more than 120 works through numerous historic photographic media including Palladium, Gum, Salt, and Cyanotype prints."--BOOK JACKET.Text by Enrique Juncosa, Sean Kissane, Matthew Higgs.
show more show less