Quentin James McCaffrey
In Western painting, the domestic interior has been a place for investigating the psyche and intimate relationships. My paintings draw from quattrocento Italian painting and seventeenth-century Dutch interiors in their use of simple geometry and symbolism, as well as in their stoicism. Drawing a parallel between intimate personal experience and imperfect historical narratives, I compare the domestic and psychological interior and how they are mutually symbolic and influential. Referencing the nostalgia of nineteenth-century academic painting, my paintings allow a space for questioning the forgetful serenity often depicted, and acknowledge an undercurrent of a more complex reality. I use cultural appropriation in Western art and decoration as a general symbol for unconscious personal development in postimperial international society. As development of society and the psyche straddle pastiche, compilation, and imitation, the lack of clarity of self becomes evidence of the internal psychological void and human state of fragility and vulnerability.