LOWRY GALLERY, UK, 2013
IZZY GALLERY, TORONTO, 2013
Michael Simpson, The Lowry’s Head of Visual Art and Engagement, said: “The Lowry has been home to a remarkable range of artists and performers over the years – some of whom are featured in this exhibition. Mary McCartney’s uncanny radar for charismatic subjects, anonymous or famous, means that this is a powerful selection of some of her best work”
Combining trust and creative chemistry in order to disclose her subject’s passions and inspirations is a common thread throughout McCartney’s work. From picturing Turner Prize-winning artist Tracey Emin dressed as Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo to The Pretenders singer and animal rights activist, Chrissie Hynde lying side-by-side with a beloved pet cat, they are images that seem unlikely without McCartney’s affinity with the person in the frame.
Perhaps the best demonstration of the personal investment McCartney’s puts into her work is a striking image of Beth Ditto, singer with American rock band The Gossip. Having established their working relationship by directing the video for the band’s single Melody Emergency, the photographer then captured the performer naked apart from a bed sheet, putting the vivacity of Ditto as a person and performer first and her physicality second.