We’re on a Road to Nowhere

We’re on a Road to Nowhere: Patrick Maguire

In the words of the artist…


Installation view of We’re on a Road to Nowhere: Patrick Maguire

The wall textures were created using drywall compound that was shot through a hopper gun. In the real world, this texture is usually found on ceilings in apartments (it is referred to as “popcorn texture”). The soft white color comes from the drywall compound itself. I wanted to create a soft fuzzy place for my paintings to coexist. When planning the show I really wanted to present the paintings in an environment similar to the frame of mind from which they came. This environment being the “ether.” These paintings are views of the outside world from within my own bubble. This zone is where I try to bring myself when creating. The process of repetitively making tick-marks creates a personal harmony and leads myself into a world of thoughtlessness. 
The actual beginning of the “tick mark paintings” began two years ago when my roommate committed suicide. After the incident, I started making these paintings to cope with my thoughts. It was something to loose myself in. The group of us had recently moved into an old building and started renovating it. The building has these beautiful arched windows that were great for looking out upon the city from or getting caught in a day dream. These windows that surrounded our studios and bedrooms took form in my work as portals or tombstones that I would place in my paintings and structures as gateways to the ether. 
When looking at the UCAL gallery, I wanted to create a separation between the gallery and the existing architecture of the building. The arching passageway,  echoing the forms of the central installation, was created as an entrance into the ether. From the foyer, a viewer is presented with only a glimpse of what is beyond the doorway. Once inside, a multitude of vantage points present assorted vistas of the structures, the paintings, and the environment, both within the gallery and beyond. This idea of “inside and out” has roots in Japanese tea houses and their gardens which celebrate the harmony between natural and constructed environments.
I wanted the structure in the center of the gallery to be a spiritual place where one or many could sit or stand. The space allows you experience one or many view points at the same time. The over-head sound comes from my own whistling, which is something I catch myself doing somewhat as a nervous tick. Somehow I find whistling calming.  I wanted that sound to be a continuous mantra playing over the viewers below. I hoped that they would find something in themselves reverberating in the gallery, the paintings, or their own mind.
Patrick Maguire is an artist living and working in Philadelphia, and holds an MFA from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. His work has recently been shown in group and solo shows at the Ice Box, Aquinas College, Lump Gallery and Space 1026.
We’re on a Road to Nowhere is open through February 12, 2016 at University City Arts League. The Gallery at UCAL is opened weekdays from 10-6pm and by appointment.
@patrickmmaguire @ucartsleague @homeiswherephilly

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