September 25 - November 21, 2010
Callaghan’s art includes paintings and prints influenced by the pioneering, non-representational portraits of William Ronald, the blazing erotic figures of Robert Markle and the surreal art of printmaker Stanley William Hayter. Further sources of artistic inspiration are the graphic novels by Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz, and more recent, traditions of Latin American art. Married to Mexican artist, Gabriella Campos, whose poetically expressive work we showed in 2008, Callaghan spends much of his time in Mexico, where he studied calligraphy with Mexican master printmaker Juan Alcázar, lectured, taught, created and exhibited.
Brilliant colours, dazzling forms, highly stylized faces and figures resonate throughout the work included in this show. Various painting and printing techniques are being applied to his creation of “psychological landscapes,” a presentation concept that Callaghan has been pursuing and exploring for decades. The term derives from the long history of landscape painters that captured the Canadian countryside. Callaghan explains, “Now that the majority of people reside in urban settings, it became apparent to me that the new landscape art of my generation, and those following me, is to look at the individual, and how the urban setting has precipitated the rugged, rough, fragile and beautiful people that are the personification of the early 21st century.”
Callaghan’s focus is on the instability of self. His art explores the inner workings of the mind and emotions, their relation to body and form, to make visible the reality, inner and outer, in which we now exist.
Michael Callaghan earned a Double Major in printmaking and philosophy at York University in 1989. He currently runs Exile Editions and Excelsior Publishing, which bring out books of fiction, poetry, nonfiction and translations. He lives near Holstein, Ontario.