John Casey: No One We Know

Jan 2nd - Jan 25th, 2009

John Casey was born in Salem Massachusetts and received his BFA in painting from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1988. His childhood drawings reveal his obsession with the figure, showing not only the distorted perceptions of a child, but a fascination with skulls, teeth, spirographic eyes, and invented body parts. This obsession with strange creatures continued througout his youth. "Monster models, war dioramas, dinosaurs and horror movies on the T.V. (this included "Creature Double Feature" on Saturday afternoons, of course) occupied much of my time."

Casey's obsession with fictitious morphology is expressed in his ink drawings and small sculptures. At first glance, his works seem to portray a menagerie of deformed creatures. A collective analysis reveals this array of oddball creatures to be a series of psychological studies - self portraits of the artist's inner psyche in all of its multifaceted incarnations. Some sad, some horrific and some whimsical, these characters evoke responses from laughter and sympathy to disgust and discomfort. While one might call Casey's work the exorcising of inner demons, his creations inspire more empathy than they do loathing. By depicting the grotesque as pitiable, John Casey illuminates the darkest corners of the mind, seeking redemption for all of us.