MARGARET McCANN   painter - writer


My fascination with scale dislocation and monumentality developed in Rome, where I lived 8 years. I began painting still life as visionary cities, then placed giant figures in them, exploring foreshortening’s cubist contradictions - forms projecting into space while shapes stack up on the picture-plane. My Fulbright project, to study depictions of saints and apply their strange fusion of the neurotic and sublime to portraiture - led to Arcimboldo-inspired 'criptosanti' and eventually 'headworks,' self-portraits with the stuff of thought in architectural configurations piled on my head.

Living in Atlantic City inspired much recent work - it's surprisingly poetic vistas recall Antonioni, and its small scale sculptural quality Rome. But unlike the gravity of The Eternal City, irony is ever-present in an R. Crumb way. I also enjoy more straightforward perceptual painting, mostly portraits and still lifes.