I work with magazines and for years have been fascinated by images of fantasy, ritual and luxury and make collages about notions of appearance and cultural narratives that dictate ways we present ourselves to each other. I approach magazines as an anthropological document and any ‘excavation’ starts by cutting, removing and categorizing of imagery; integrating masculine and feminine bodies culled from advertising that are alluring and also idealized props. Ambiguity is a thread woven through my work for years–heightening a tension between familiar and unrecognizable forms, creating a sense of mystery. Any tensions created between the bodies and shapes is very rewarding to me.
When working in collage, I’m placing magazine pieces together which comes from an intuitive process. I’m attempting to make something that reconstitutes images like visual hallucinations; a kind of delirium. My typical scale is modest yet intimate and this invites the viewer for a closer glance. Knowing this ritual, I love to make work that rewards slow looking. That spatial intimacy feels connected to holding magazines. I’ve followed themes that have materialized over the years; erotic, psychologically charged, idealized bodies and sexualized undertones are pervasive throughout. Any narrative becomes a distorted familiarity, one where the viewer might identify fragments but is left to assemble the parts into coherency.
Paul Loughney received his masters of fine arts degree from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and his certificate in Printmaking from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia.
He has participated in solo and group shows at Seraphin Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; St. John’s University Manhattan Gallery, New York; La Lutta Project Space, Brooklyn, New York; Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond; Borowsky Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, California; Kunsthochschule für Medien, Cologne, Germany; Subspace Gallery, Berlin, Germany. His work can be found in the permanent collection of Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana; and the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum and the Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Paul Loughney currently works in Brooklyn, New York.