Lisa McCleary, b.1992, is an Irish-Australian artist currently living in New York. In 2015 she received her BFA Honours Degree from UNSW Art & Design Sydney, and in 2018 completed her Master of Fine Arts Degree at Parsons, The New School, NYC. She has exhibited internationally with a solo show at Palmer Art Projects in both 2015 and 2016. McCleary showcased her work in several group exhibitions in 2017, including: Wait….What? Yes.,The Great Acceleration, Between, Unsentimental, and Recoded: Strategies of Queer Abstraction. In 2018 she was chosen as a winner of the RE:ARTISTE, Show Your World, International Juried Art Competition at Gallery MC, NYC. McCleary’s work has been showcased in several US exhibitions in 2018, including: Art on 52ndSt., Growing Pebbles, The Seattle Erotic Arts Festival, Body Positive, Figurative Group Show and From Minuscule to Monumental at The Factory LIC, New York. She recently attended the Summer Painting Residency Program at Con Artist Collective in the Lower East Side. She is currently a fellow of the Art & Law Program lead by attorney Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento at Cornell University, NYC. McCleary has been selected as a finalist for the William and Dorothy Yeck Award at Miami University in 2019. She has also been selected for the 2019 Trestle Art Gallery Residency in Brooklyn.

Artist Statement

Through painting, sculpture and installation I create a space in which self-pleasure, agency, desire and the digital and real body are in play. I am interested in the pleasure of flesh and the way that that translates into our desire for our communication devices, and our corporeal relationship to industrial materials.
I focus on the gesture of hands and fingers to allude to autoeroticism, in the aim to create an aggressive autonomous body. My practice addresses haptic sensations and the representation and embodiment of touch. The skin and the screen surface work as interchangeable metaphors for both sexual and visual pleasure.

My practice evokes pleasure and discusses choice and agency through an investigation of both the real and abstracted body. Through the medium of paint I exploredistinct aesthetics and capabilities of the flesh. I approach tactility, and the indexical nature of imprints and manipulated flesh through the creation of a Play Doh Landscape. The imprints of my fingers in this landscape are temporal traces of touch on a body.

I utilize the Trompe-l’oeil painting technique to render abject visceral landscapes on a flat surface, to mirror the way we receive images on the screen. While there may be representations of touch, there may actually be nothing to feel. I invite the viewer to question their sense of touch through proposing a space of reflection, how they touch themselves or cannot touch the work. How can you communicate touch without experiencing it?

The visual imagery I employ simultaneously approaches defilement and transcendence to suggest alternative sexuality. I explore industrial materials and their correlation to BDSM culture, the pattern of scarred flesh and the interface or black mirror. I am searching for a new system of pleasure that is both seductive and repulsive and cultivates an abject experience.