Mel McCuddinRetrospective

“Painting for me is like shooting a shotgun at a target. There are many that come close, some completely miss, and once in a while, one will hit the bull’s eye. It is these few that hit the mark that make it all worth the effort. “

Mel McCuddin died in late September 2022 at age 89. He is an artist whose work defies conventional categorization. Born in 1944 in Spokane, Washington, McCuddin has established himself as a prominent figure in contemporary art, renowned for his distinctive style and evocative imagery. He worked as a truck driver during the day and painted at night. He took art classes when he could. Upon retirement, he created canvases in his backyard studio where he and his wife Gloria lived.

His paintings are characterized by their bold colors, dynamic compositions, and enigmatic subject matter, which often depicts distorted figures and surreal landscapes. One of McCuddin’s most striking features is his ability to convey complex emotions and psychological depth through his art. His figures, with their contorted limbs and exaggerated features, seem to teeter on the edge of sanity, capturing the raw intensity of human experience. Each brushstroke is imbued with a sense of urgency, as if the artist is grappling with the fundamental mysteries of existence.

McCuddin’s work is deeply rooted in the tradition of expressionism, drawing inspiration from artists such as Francis Bacon and Egon Schiele. Like his predecessors, he seeks to express the inner turmoil and existential angst that lie beneath the surface of everyday life. His paintings are a testament to the power of art to confront the darker aspects of the human condition and to provoke introspection and self-reflection.

Despite the often unsettling nature of his subject matter, McCuddin’s work is infused with a sense of humor and irony. His figures, with their exaggerated features and absurd situations, invite the viewer to look beyond the surface and to confront the absurdity of existence. In this sense, his art is both a reflection of the human condition and a critique of the society in which we live.

McCuddin’s paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, garnering acclaim from critics and collectors alike. His work transcends cultural boundaries and speaks to the universal experiences of joy, sorrow, and longing that unite us all as human beings. In an increasingly fragmented and chaotic world, McCuddin’s art offers a glimmer of hope and a reminder of the enduring power of creativity to inspire, provoke, and ultimately, to heal.

Throughout his career, McCuddin has remained steadfast in his commitment to exploring the complexities of the human experience through his art. Whether delving into the depths of the subconscious mind or confronting the harsh realities of the world around us, his work serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring power of art to challenge, inspire, and provoke thought. With each painting, McCuddin invites us to see the world through his eyes – a world that is at once beautiful and terrifying, absurd and profound, but above all, undeniably human.

Originals – Line Drawings

Originals – Small size

Originals – Medium size

Originals – Large size

Did you like this? Share it!