According to the Guerrieri Student Union Art Space webpage, D’Shon McCarthy, a junior at Salisbury University, began exploring her love for art at the Visual Arts Program of Wicomico High School and has continued her artistic passions at Salisbury University, planning to attend the New York Academy of Art for her master’s degree after graduating SU in 2022.
The following pieces within the “Epiphany” collection were on display at the Guerrieri Student Union Art Space.
McCarthy’s portraits in this collection each incorporate a set of specific and calculated set of emotions enhanced through visual elements such as her use of juxtaposition, shape and color.
One of her pieces, “Detonate,” features a dizzying collection of vibrant 3D shapes and flowers which evoke a sense of fluttering chaos around the self-portrait.
The environment surrounding McCarthy in this piece, as well as her facial expression, evoke a sense of uneasiness and discomfort.
Another one of McCathy’s pieces, “Dissociate, Delusional, Deliverance,” illustrated McCarthy herself, entangled in a sea of yellow and blue swirls and external magenta hands.
What excels the most in this painting is not only the juxtaposition of the 2D swirls with McCarthy and the hands’ 3D figures, but the eyes. The eyes within this piece truly evoke a sense of dissociation from reality.
Additionally, the power of this piece is also enhanced by the relaxed facial features that juxtapose the swirling surroundings within the piece’s background.
McCarthy’s pieces are also enhanced by her use of self-reflection and emotion which is particularly present in her piece, “Dial Tone.”
In this artwork, a fractured mirror separates McCarthy from her reflection which is applying makeup.
As addressed in the Guerrieri Student Union Art Space webpage, thick layers of oil paint to are capture the various highlights and shadows of light on McCarthy’s skin. However, what first appears to be a scene from a typical morning routine with makeup is quickly revealed to be something more.
According to the Guerrieri Student Union Art Space webpage, a bottle of liquor sits beside McCarthy, accompanied by panicked eyes, referencing the presence of men in McCarthy’s life.
In addition to the self-portraits within the “Epiphany” showcase, McCarthy also features a portrait of her twin sister as mentioned by the Guerrieri Student Union Art Space webpage.
In “Half and Half,” McCarthy’s twin sister, D’Shae, is adorned with vivid, saturated flowers and butterflies, demonstrating the artist’s impeccable use of color.
What is most striking about McCarthy’s “Epiphany” is the artist’s ability to capture feelings and emotions.
The use of saturation, vibrancy and intricate shapes assist in the portrayal of stress and anxiety which is not unfamiliar to viewers, especially in modern times.
D’Shon’s artwork portrays strong emotions and feelings.
She seems to be lost in beautiful worlds which amplifies her artwork, proving to be more than just a simple self-portrait.
The art invites the viewer to dig beneath the initial image, trying to understand the artist’s perspective. However, it also invites viewers to reflect on themselves.
Thus, I applaud McCarthy’s use of shapes, textures, and shades; they not only define McCarthy’s world and emotions, but they also assist in creating emotions that viewers can relate to and reflect on.
A source referenced within this article has been listed below for reference.
By JACOB BEAVER
Photo by Summer Shaper