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  Irene Delka McCray - Statement  

My paintings and drawings have always been set in the psychic realm, foregrounded with various themes of emotional challenge and internal contradiction.  Though it evolves and varies slightly, a continuous theme is the dual nature of humanity, the necessary pact we have between connection to the other and being lone persons, individualized and apart.  The work has led to absorption in such subjects as death, actual and metaphorical, addictamania, dreams, sensuality, and fantasy, all experiences where ordinary human consciousness is altered. It is there in the nether reaches that we open to the immediacy of life and the truth of the nature of being. My consideration of these concepts is in a spirit of compassion and awe for the fierce mysteries of human existence.

The current work maintains that the whole of humanity is best recognized in the oddities of single individuals. Through a series of portraits of people as their fantasies, I wish to assert the power and authenticity of their unique phantoms of imagination. Fantasy is, I’m seeing, an innate truth, an originative process that pushes us into our behaviors, mannerisms, and personalities. It forms us into uniqueness, whatever our shared environment or conscious life expectations. 

 My interviews with my subjects inquire into their fantasies, dreams, and obsessions,  where the quirkiness of their inventions free them from real life sense to a climate of ongoing connectiveness of soul. I’m inviting my audience to be co-conspirators in the invented personas of my subjects. Through all of these portraits, I hope to allow shafts of illumination that unpack some of the depths and intensities of being human.  


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