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Darren McManus
Lambertville, NJ
Painting, Graphic Design

Artwork Details
Matter Seeking Its Own Source
Acrylic on Beveled Wood
33" x 12"

Darren McManus was born in Lowell, Massachusetts and raised in a small southern New Hampshire town called Windham. He lived there until 1994, when he left to attend the Hartford Art School in Connecticut on scholarship. During his junior campaign, he studied abroad at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. In 1998, he completed his BFA, a double major in Experimental Studio and Graphic Design with a minor in Art History. After working for several years as a graphic designer and illustrator in the greater Boston area, he returned to academia in 2002 to earn his MFA in painting from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. Shortly after finishing his master’s degree, he moved to the Santa Fe Artists' Colony in Los Angeles before relocating yet again, to New Jersey.

Of his work McManus states, “…it concerns the function of myth as a vital form of basic psychological nutrition and the ability of painting to serve as a vehicle for this in contemporary culture. Bound by a macro versus micro framework, my paintings consist of imagery from both recognizable and obscure references. The results are hybrid environments evoking themes of alienation, displacement, contradiction and wonder. Toxic colors fill pleasant shapes, geometric structures represent spiritual icons, childhood symbols are ‘recontextualized’ into a new language and video game characters become surrogates for humankind. In this setting, elements collide. They amalgamate. Relationships are established and a new story unfolds fueled by nostalgia for a time that doesn't yet exist.”

In 2006, he was accepted into the Cooper Union Drawing & Painting Residency program in New York City and he was also granted a second drawing and painting residency at I-Park in East Haddam, Connecticut. He currently teaches at Raritan Valley Community College, where he is also the college's art gallery coordinator. His exhibition venues include The Brewery Project in Los Angeles, CA, The Daimler Chrysler Corporate Headquarters in Southfield, MI, Gallery 181 in Lawrence, MA, Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Gallery in NJ, and 20th Century Fox Studios in Los Angeles, CA.