Megan Ellen MacDonald
Megan Ellen MacDonald’s oil paintings have one foot in the 18th century and one in the 23rd.
MacDonald appropriates romantic and baroque themes to firmly ground her work in the context of lavish genre painting, setting the stage for her colorful depictions of mass market disposable decoration and kitsch subject matter. Her work explores how we perceive the cultural value of an object or narrative based on its depiction, and the irony of portraying reality when so much of what we consider as realism is often confused with the unreal.
MacDonald’s still-life arrangements - first created using 3D software and "documented" as paintings - expand on Hanneke Grootenboer’s theory of “sophisticated deceit”. Grootenboer asserts that painting, specifically still-life, is more about visual representation than it is about its subjects. MacDonald’s paintings challenge the pre-established aesthetic hierarchy of painting by creating a visual language out of things considered both diminutive and feminine. Her most recent body of work depicts intimate and destructive relationships between objects as an exploration of what it means to embrace both femininity and power.