Through indirect abstractions Caitlin McCollom wishes to represent the quiet
panic of the disordered mind and the beautiful decay of the diseased body. The
paintings are made using acrylic paint, oil paint, varnish, ink and watercolor on
synthetic paper. Employed is a limited palette of neutral colors and red. Each
color has a supreme symbolic meaning. Red always represents the physical
body—blood, viscera, decay, and visual physicality of the body itself. The neutral
warm and cool beiges represent the outward flesh, the reality of the world and
the prison of the body. The anfractuous nature of the intestines is sampled in the
deliberately curling strokes, and the pooling of the various flesh colored materials
is meant to recall medical images. White, the most sacred color, is always about
the existential void. White is the unknowable space that the mind contemplates.
The whiteness of the paper always surrounds the painted image, so that each
one is immersed in the chaos of the mind and appearing as a religious icon. The
work however, though its conceptual matter is rooted in the presence of body
and mind related distress, is meant to be a visual experience of beauty.
Reframing the human reaction to disease with disgust into one of curiosity is a
primary objective within the work.
The paintings are corporeal and existential in nature; reacting to the body, the
greater reality, and the existential space that is explained in theory by
philosophers, theologians, and mystics while exploring a personal existential
pathology— a physical fear reaction to meaninglessness. Her work interprets the
internal body, external reality, and the mysterious unknowable aspects of