The Drawers - Jesse McCloskey  Commentary written by Julie Oakes

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It’s a thriller. The dog is being really mean to the girl. He’s being awful! The girl, however, isn’t a ready victim and comes up with her nastiness in retaliation. They’re in a city park with a fountain and a token bird or two. Peculiar night vistas in that specifically urban sequestered space where the wild is tamed and drawn into line and where with long colonnades lead to fountains and bowers, form the dramatic backdrops. The receding illumination of park lamps, a flash of lightning or perhaps Jesse McCloskey’s eyes light the scene and capture the brief instant when the malevolent deed is done.

McCloskey’s wickedly colorful paintings are evidence rather than narrative. The crime has been interrupted, the naughtiness intercepted and the baseness of dog’s treatment of girl (or girl of dog) enters the annals of crime history with his indelible brush strokes.  Jesse McCloskey is like the war artist or the court crime sketcher. He fearlessly stares down the maleficent act. He glares at the potential for murder and in doing so holds it a bay so that we can enjoy the horror. With daring subjectivity he swirls the lurid paint using a palette as uncompromising as the deeds he has witnessed. He resists the temptation to affect the course of events, to rescue the girl or help the poor dog, and instead  - depicts! He hands the evidence over to us, the viewers, and we shiver as we receive the impact of the visualizations of cruelty.

 We are thrilled. Jesse McCloskey has done it again and we revel in the absurd horror of the dog biting the head off the girl or cheer as the girl stabs him back. McCloskey has done it again! As he has done it hundreds of times…with the same spunky girl and the same wily beast.

Is there a limit to the wickedness?

Copyright © 2006,  Headbones Gallery, The Drawers