Kevin McCaffrey

Artist’s Statement

I begin with a prayer for the welfare of others and for the Spirit’s guidance of my hand and heart.
Usually then a black ballpoint pen lays down, on a ground of middle value, lines that amass in a meaningful randomness that is minute, precise, wriggling, quivering, creating tiny value contrasts and directed by innumerable influences collaborating to diminish a ruling “I” and explore the infinite possibilities of line.
Here the stage is set for micro mythologies the pit elemental forces against each other, creating tensions both playful and tragic.
The subjects and forms of my work arise, forming sometimes landscapes, sometimes figures summoned from a core of psychic archetypes: satellite views alternate with Earth mothers, warrior shamans, street grids, nebulae, bacteria, holy frogs, androgens, attacking armies, drunken oysters, zombie drum majors—serendipity reigns as shapes form in dynamic, ethereal, and often dreamlike concoctions. I turn my back on intention and try to permit chance and improvisation be the fields through which run the prime matter of a collective, unconscious energy.
Muted colors are sometimes added with pencil, pastel, ink, or chalk. What will make this deeper, more lyrical, more beautiful?
I seek to draw from sources as deep as I can fathom.
The less willful and controlling I am, the better. Preconceptions can never be thoroughly erased, intention can never be completely shed, the ego can never be absolutely banished, which is OK. Nothingness is all that can be ruled out.
If my work has a social dimension, it is to use visually poetic images to evoke whatever feelings may arise in a viewer. This is a traditional view, but one no longer universally held or intrinsic to art today. Beauty and feeling are no longer in the vocabulary of many artists, and the world is in perpetual need of them. Art is a social service and a social stance.
My work retains imagery because archetypes are defined characters giving form to chi, to eternally living energies that define us from within.
We follow Beauty as she wanders down the paths to the eternal. This is the definition of aesthetic experience, where perception is infused with the light of the divine.
We pray to the Creator and contemplate the Creator whose voice is inside of us.