Elizabeth Dee

Still by Ryan  McNamara

Still, 2012

  • 2012

"For a few weeks in March, McNamara pulled off a magic trick: his solo show was visited by hundreds of people, but there wasn't one spectator.  Instead, every viewer became part of the D.I.Y. spectacle.  (A note on the door warned away the participation-averse.)  The gallery was transformed into a photo studio stocked with a madcap array of costumes and props (a chicken mask, a silhouette of the moon, a pineapple), and McNamara, who is best known as a a performance artist and is a natural-born charmer, staged tableaux that were captured on camera. The resulting stills are posted on the gallery's Web site, and they're more than just entertaining; they double as a warmhearted critique of social-media culture, in which everyone's a performer and it's always somebody's fifteen minutes of fame.  For the show's second phase McNamara presents an installation in progress with objects whose surfaces he's decoupaged with the pictures.  To quote Andy Warhol: Deeply superficial."

Andrea K. Scott, The New Yorker
April 2, 2012