Jennifer C. McCarthy
Jennifer C. McCarthy is a self-taught artist who spent most of her childhood and adult life in El Paso, Texas where her only son was born.
Although currently she lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the border town and its landscape continue to permeate her memories, daydreams and longings.
Jennifer approaches her work in a way that mirrors her experience of the Chihuahuan Desert in West Texas: from abstract to details. In the evenings, she used to gaze out across a landscape that at first appeared bland and repetitive. After a while, however, isolated dramas would emerge like a swarm of fire ants cleaning the corpse of a dead rabbit or a coyote trotting of with a rat hanging from its mouth.
In a 2013 interview with the online magazine Combustus, McCarthy personalizes her experience:
“Over and over I am confronted with a raw vulnerability in myself and in others that reminds me of a wild animal, at times backed into a corner or snarling out in pain, sometimes gnawing on itself. There are yet other moments when its heart races as it breaths quick and shallow after snatching its prey and then pauses to catch its breath before its first bite.”
“I sense this creature lies much closer to the surface in each of us than we usually realize, and it is easily disguised by language and the trappings of civilization, by our work and self-defined identities. But when our interactions with each other approach intimacy, the wild creature is released, and it is a delicate, dangerous, powerful and beautiful force. Often, we run from it at its first roar and miss the opportunity for true connection and mutual empowerment. I would like for my work to evoke a sense of this wildness and drama.”
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