Joe McKay

Joe McKay

Work from Sunset Solitaire.

Sunset Solitaire references computer games, of course, in this case one played by an individual and watched by others, but there are a range of other associations. The Hudson River School painters and Mark Rothko’s glowing rectangles readily come to mind, as do the evocatively nostalgic memories of drive-in movies (for those of a certain age) or less anxious manifestations of ’60s light shows (for those of another certain age). While presenting Sunset Solitaire McKay becomes a deejay who mixes color rather than sound. There is a sleight of hand at work when he matches the fading sun’s color exactly; an effect that’s pure trompe l’oeil. One might think of Vasari’s anecdote about Giotto painting a fly on one of Cimabue’s paintings, which the older master tried to shoo away, or of Alexander the Great’s horse neighing in recognition at the portrait painted by Apelles.

McKay calls Sunset Solitaire an “intervention” rather than a performance. Perhaps this is because he responds to different environmental conditions that can’t be reliably replicated each time he presents the piece. Or perhaps it is because it is the viewer who usually performs interactively with his installations. No matter the label, Sunset Solitaire exhibits a complex layering of characteristics common in much of McKay’s recent art…” – Chris Ashley

via Piet Mondriaan.

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