I’m exploring to express, my different observations of people, who feel themselves standing outside of the general spectrum and sketch them on the canvas with pensil and black oil paint. Using different techniques like wet and dry paint and different brushes, long haired and short haired.
My fascination has always been the philosophy of myself and others and how we relate to each other. How much of our opinions are formed by others, programmed by society and when do we question this and start to analyse who we are as individuals. How we relate to the past, fit into history, where do we find ourselves in the present, what do we want for our future? In my paintings I try to recreate aspects of society that I read about in the news. I want to translate the news in an indirect way to create a bigger picture of the situations we deal with as humans living right now.
Mack is an artist whose figurative paintings are based on a contemporary narrative inspired by society.
In her work she searches for the soul of modern man, his relation to the people around him and his moment to moment battle with space and perception, vision and placement, survival and in some cases death. She draws you into her imaginative view of modern absurdity. While at first glance she takes you on a trip into a simplistic landscape, a second look shows a use of image and background and a philosophical depth that allows the observer to create his own less than comfortable view of the world he inhabits.
The fact that she chooses to work into detail some of the elements in the painting while leaving other parts unfinished creates a visual depth that makes it possible to interpret her work at different levels.
DH Mack is a painter in the true sense of the word. At first sight, her paintings are depictions of casual social relations in which people are sitting on a bench or waiting in line. As you allow yourself time to observe the characters you start to associate different parts of the painting in order to find the meaning of these relationships.
The form of the characters seems to tell you something about them. The boy in the centre of the painting that is only coarsely outlined may be detached from the other characters that are finely detailed. A shape that seemed to be part of the background suddenly pops up into the foreground and becomes a character that dominates the scene and you start to find symbols that are shared between characters.
Suddenly you realise that your leaning posture resembles that of the people standing in line and the way you cross your arms must be related to the way the old man folds his hands and looks at you. As you become part of the story, the painting begs the question how you attribute meaning to anything.
It is the hallmark of a good artist that she intentionally changes your perception of reality. After you have seen DH Mack’s paintings, you’ll see meaning in social situations in a new way.
J. van der spek