As he approaches 30 years of exhibiting his vernacular, street-influenced paintings in galleries and museums, Casey McGlynn returns to one of his earliest metaphors in his new collection I Am the Horse. Grazing and at rest, the horses appear in herds and as silhouettes, their interiors filled with a cacophony of symbols and color that bristle with a fervent, raw energy.
In several brightly colored, large-scale canvases, the artist delights in a dense visual palimpsest, with abundant references to aliens and spaceships, apartment buildings, animals (especially work horses), and blob-like human beings. The overall achievement is wonderfully idiosyncratic, as the paintings resemble giant panels of borderless comics.
When I was twenty five I did a painting of a sheep that changed the course of my life completely.
I discovered my artistic voice with the image of the four legged animal.
Those early works were also the first pieces I had ever sold and made me realize a career in painting was not only possible…it was happening unintentionally.
Recently in an interview for a short documentary I make the declaration “I am the horse” in my work.
The horses I paint are stocky solid working animals.
I am a working class artist, I grew up with factory workers for parents and I identify to the ethos of the working class.
I am the horse.
Casey McGlynn first began exploring his creativity as a child, drawing for hours and developing his robust visual language. His paintings, often including collaged elements, are honest, vulnerable, and dynamic. He depicts himself and those close to him, through symbols like whales, birds, elephants, horses, and a large man in red. Angst is balanced by humor, and canvases include written words that read like diary entries. Inspired by the early punk rock scene in Toronto, ON, and a musician himself, McGlynn's connection to punk’s rejection of the mainstream is evident. But McGlynn’s rebellion is approachable, posed as a question he continues to explore in his sensitive work.
McGlynn holds a Diploma from Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto, ON. His work is shown across North America, including at Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, CO; Alabama State Council of the Arts, Montgomery, AL; and SOFA Exhibition in Chicago, IL. He has received multiple awards, and was a guest lecturer at several universities including at Brock University, St. Catherines, ON. His work is part of collections across North America.