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Which One Are You?: A New Exhibit by Alumnus
David McShane Opens at La Salle’s Art Museum
Growing up as one of eight children (including an identical twin brother) in an Irish-Catholic household, La Salle University alumnus David McShane was frequently asked, “Which one are you?” Eventually, while a student in college, McShane found himself asking the same question.
“During that time, I was a straight-A pre-med student, wrestling with the decision of going to medical school or art school,” said McShane. “Which one are you? I asked myself, a doctor or an artist?” He chose to be the latter, and his new exhibit at La Salle University’s Art Museum is appropriately titled “Which One Are You?”
“Beloved for his large-scale wall paintings, McShane has made a reputation as one of Philadelphia’s leading mural artists,” said Madeleine Viljoen, Ph.D. Director and Chief Curator of the La Salle University Art Museum. His works in partnership with the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program can be seen throughout the city. His smaller studio paintings are less well-known, yet it is here rather than through his public works that we learn more about the artist’s personal issues.
“It’s impossible to have an exhibition at La Salle’s Art Museum and not look back at my past and my struggle to figure out who I was, having matriculated at La Salle over 20 years ago” said McShane.
The exhibition explores intimate questions about family and faith in the artist’s search for self-identity. His collages juxtapose figures and familiar objects with vibrant patterns of repeating elements like stripes and flowers. The imagery he uses includes portraits of his family, personal heroes such as Frank Zappa and J.D. Salinger, and references to his Catholic faith.
“Allusions to popular culture and the artist’s personal history are inextricably interwoven in McShane’s striking and beautiful collages,” said Viljoen.
Composed in groups, some of his collages will be hung in fixed arrangements, while the largest, central composition will keep changing over the course of the exhibition. The evolving nature of this exhibition invites visitors to return to the show to see how different groupings can influence our understanding of the entire arrangement.
McShane’s exhibition will be on view until December 7, 2007 and is free and open to the public. For additional information, please call the La Salle University Art Museum at 215.951.1221 or visit www.lasalle.edu/museum.