March 13, 2013

Dan McCleary At Craig Krull Gallery

The five new paintings by Dan McCleary, currently on view at Craig Krull Gallery in Santa Monica, seem to be in dialog with one another.  Props, poses, and even people are repeated within the small body of work, giving the impression that a narrative might exist that links the subtle moments depicted in the paintings together.  In actuality, the repeating models are probably more of a practicality for McCleary.  He paints directly from life, depicting mundane moments in a simplified, yet cunningly sophisticated style.  You could describe the work as snapshots that just so happen to take months to develop.

Dan McCleary, Cafe, 2012, oil on canvas, 49 x 63.5 inches, at Craig Krull Gallery

Dan McCleary, The Conference, 2013 oil on canvas, 51 x 56.5 inches, at Craig Krull Gallery

Three larger paintings, The Conference, The Manicure, and Cafe make up the meat of the show but it is Dr. Martinez, a small portrait of a Latino man in medical scrubs, which has the most direct appeal.  The model's warm skin tones reverberate against his cool green shirt.  He stares straight out from the canvas with a blank expression onto which the view must choose to project the appropriate emotional state.  It's a gem.

Dan McCleary, Dr. Martinez, 2013, oil on canvas, 20 x 16.5 inches at Craig Krull Gallery

Along with being a painter, McCleary is also the founder of Art Division, an organization dedicated to training and supporting young adults in the Rampart District of Los Angeles who are committed to studying visual arts.  Two students of the program, Emmanuel Galvez and Javier Carrillo are exhibiting work at the gallery alongside McCleary's.  Galvez's small still life works, painted from life, depict the unique color, texture and shapes of traditional Mexican bakery goods.  Carrillo's paintings depict close friends, family members, and his own life experience, taking the form of the playing cards used in a Latin American game of chance, similar to Bingo, entitled La Loteria.

Painting by Emmanuel Galvez at Craig Krull Gallery

Painting by Javier Carrillo at Craig Krull Gallery

Dan McCleary, New Paintings / Javier Carrillo, La Loteria de la Vida / Emmanuel Galvez, Pan Dulche is on view at Craig Krull Gallery at Bergamot Station through April 13, 2013.

(Image at top: Dan McCleary, The Manicure, 2013, oil on canvas, 56.5 x 51 inches, at Craig Krull Gallery)

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