Patrick McFarlin


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Patrick McFarlin
About the author

MCFARLIN OIL BY THE DECADES (why oil????) 50s Inspired by high-school teacher Helen Terry Marshall in Little Rock Central, Arkansas, McFarlin decides to make art his life’s work. Wins scholarship to Memphis Academy of Art (now Memphis College of Art). 60s Paints angry autobiographical work after talk therapy with psychologist Donald Gucker. Finds a new self-confidence fueled by the philosophy of Karen Horney and A.S. Neil. He then moves to the San Francisco Bay Area. His mood and his world change dramatically. With a new interest in sculpture, he studies drawing at the San Francisco Art Institute, the De Young and with several other drawing groups and in workshops. Produces lively, humorous sculpture in cast aluminum and wood. Exhibits sculpture and drawings at Light Sound Dimension Gallery and Arlene Lind Gallery in San Francisco. 70s The missing decade in terms of art production as he studies Buddhism and the craft of stained glass. In the late seventies, returns to Arkansas. 80s With a nod to Roger Brown and Hieronymus Bosch, McFarlin designs and produces his own world of rudderless vehicles, e.g., Ships of Fools, Airbus of Fools, RV of Fools —tight, teaming acrylics on canvas or the back of glass. After expanding his backwoods farmhouse to include a lofty studio, he opens his oil paint box and takes on all manner of subject matter from front-page news, childhood memories, portraits and erotica. Begins showing with Santa Fe gallerist Linda Durham in the mid-eighties. He exhibits in Little Rock, New York, Memphis, Houston, and other cities through the decade. 90s Moves to Santa Fe just in time for a big slump in the art market. Rents studio in the Railyard District across the street from SITE Santa Fe. After over a year painting self-portraits, launches an open-studio portrait project where each portrait session became an event. Over four years he builds a large body of work and opens a show of 185 portraits at SITE Santa Fe in 1996. Continues to produce artwork during the three-month run of the show, augmenting the visuals with theatrical and musical performances (Charles Shere, Peter Garland and Theater Grottesco, et. al.). Exhibits and performs with similar projects in Napa Valley, California and at the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama in the late nineties. Featured in a segment by Martha Teichner of CBS Sunday Morning. 2000—2010 Produces landscape exhibitions, as well as circling back to the mood of the Bay Area work with narrative, humorous subject matter. Has exhibitions in Santa Fe with Munson Gallery, Linda Durham and Dwight Hackett. Opens in New York with George Billis, the very week that Goldman-Sacks dropped their money bags and ran. 2010—present Rick Lowe invites McFarlin for a Project Row House residency in Houston, Texas. Narrative prevails there in the form of studies of activists who went out on a limb for their cause, and in subsequent works based on passages from great books and a series of paintings structured like traditional crazy-quilt designs.