Paul McDevitt

McDevitt’s intricate pencil drawings suggest a lost or undiscovered world, his subject matter derived primarily from 1950s cultural magazines as well as his own photographs. Much imagery focuses on anonymous graphic design – ranging from the commercial styling of old publications to municipal murals and street graffiti – which are fused with elements of architecture and landscape.

Sprayed tags compete with the stained glass images of civic buildings. Representations of flightless birds, such as penguins and chickens from journals of the space-race era, are superimposed on architectural structures. Animals take the place of people in deserted locations and transient gestures are given a permanent position. Cosmic scenes are often part of the vision and this extreme and chaotic phenomena also appears in his ‘unstill’ still-lives. Fireworks replace flowers, lightening tears through otherwise quiet scenes and imagery appears to be plundered rather than arranged.

In all of McDevitt’s drawings, the viewer’s attention is drawn to the subjects and issues that construct our social fabric. However, it is the displacement of these elements into a unique visual panorama that produces such ominous, compelling and intensely alluring works.