Robert A. McCann is a Midwest-based artist and educator. Born and raised in the Ozarks of southwest Missouri, he developed as a studio artist through his studies at Missouri State University, Indiana University, and as a Fulbright scholar based in Berlin, Germany. In the fifteen years since that time, McCann’s paintings have frequently dealt with the potential for metaphors in our byzantine mass media culture, and the overwriting of epic and intimate events in the particular artifice of painting.
McCann describes his paintings as “elaborate fictional spaces”. He utilizes characters from pop cultures and subcultures to stage human drama. These visual threads spiral outward into the shared universe logic of Marvel blockbusters and Pinterest pin boards, and inward to personal mythologies and autobiographical fragments. The paintings use larger-than-life-characters from the world of wrestling, rock & roll history, or educational film reels to evoke a fuzzy boundary between fantasy and reality. His works incorporate staging of affiliated subjects in fragmented narratives plays on a viewer’s incomplete grasp of sublime subjects like memory, future-forecasting, or knowledge of society at large. The subsequent paintings bring together elements of landscape, portraiture, history painting, and improvisational abstraction.