Artist statement

These are among the earliest collographs I've made. After being introduced to the process in 1996 I wasn't able to return to work in collography until 2000 and these were some of the first images I made. At the time I'd been reading historical accounts and biographies from the early Renaissance--including one on Galileo--and was fascinated by the changes taking place in perceptions about the universe. While I find it remarkable that Galileo was able to arrive at his very modern theories about the universe I found myself fascinated by what we would now call a much more naive world view. This has translated for me into seeing the universe as in a certain way humorous--namely that there are these big rocks floating about in space. Such an idea seems ridiculous to me and yet reflects something of how I view the idea of life in general. It is, of course, remarkable that there is life of any kind but somehow it's so remarkable, so unbelievable that it's like a bad joke. We take everything so seriously and yet in the context of an enormous universe with eons and eons of time before and after our existence we're as insignificant as a pebble on the ground. While this might seem to be a despairing statement it's almost reassuring for me.

All images copyright © 2001-2012 Michael McCarthy, all rights reserved.

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