A childhood filled with long hours watching TV has infused me with a comforting, yet confusing perception of nostalgia, and my complicated love/hate relationship with junk media drives my obsession to collect the detritus of bygone years. My work examines the ways in which the media has groomed American culture through representation and idealization, by addressing permission, control, and disappointment. The search for source material and inspiration in thrift stores and swap-meets generates these pieces; the negative effects of capitalism create these zones of consumer resistance and survival, where charmingly campy material goods are bought or neglected. Recombining disparate fragments in collage functions like the piecing together of childhood memories, as if I’m trying to make sense of the past from scraps of the recollections of someone else. Using appropriated sources (from magazine pages to cassette tapes), my work references folk methods of scrapbooking or creating mixtapes, employing common cultural references to bridge the space between high and low culture.

Pics from Commodified, MFA Open Studio Tours, and ReviveR, 2019 @ UNLV Graduate Studios, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Saturday, May 11, 2019, between 6-8 PM, I will be showing some of my prints at the Gallery Opening Reception of Playground Arts in Mesa, Arizona! This venue, run by Sound Art Arizona, is dedicated to sound art but they will be exhibiting experimental visual works as well. The opening reception will feature immersive sound art performances and visual art by Jim Fike, Erika Lynne Hanson, Lena Klett, Kristen Miologos, Tony Obr, and Jimmy Peggie, as well as myself.


I was recently interviewed for a local Phoenix arts magazine called Voyage Phoenix. Click on the link to read a little more about my story: 


Here is some footage of my performance with Emily Sarten from the closing reception of Low Data @ Modified Arts in Phoenix, 01/04/2019:

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© 2018 by John McVay.
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