NEW YORK, N.Y. /New York Netwire/ — Eleanor Ettinger Gallery Chelsea announces “Disguises and Disappearances,” the premier New York exhibition of paintings by Jennifer Balkan and John McCarthy which explore the idea of identity both discovered and hidden. In paintings of daydreams and remembrances, the artists entreat us to wander through imagery that is evocative, quirky and sometimes melancholy.

Balkan paints women who are characters full of fantasy and attitude, adorned with French wigs, dark sunglasses and crowns of roses. Her painterly application and intensity of palette are a secondary life force accompanying her curious people and their fanciful existence. Enhancing the dream-like quality of her compositions are the runs and drips of paint that layer over her figures, highlighted by dollops of hot, saturated color.

McCarthy’s “Glass Series” is work born from abstractions conceived at a photographic level. Fascinating patterns and shapes make up the features almost as DNA constructs the person – disassembled, the identity unknown. The diffusion creates a distance between viewer and subject, in which the artist also implies the loss of a present reality. His are people who float in our consciousness on the edge of remembrance.

Balkan and McCarthy, while diverse in their approach create work that strikes a similar note of empathy and recognition, of layering and uncovering. Intricacy, dexterity and curiosity are the hallmark of these two extraordinary, contemporary painters who complement one another, as they challenge us to define what we see and feel.

“Disguises and Disappearances” will be on view from May 2 through June 1, 2013 at the Eleanor Ettinger Gallery Chelsea located at 511 West 25th Street, NY, NY. Gallery hours: Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. More information: .


Jennifer Balkan (American) has been educated in both the arts and sciences. Her study of behavioral neuroscience, which culminated in a Ph.D. in sociology, informs her paintings with a developed eye into the complexities of human aspiration. Her transformation and education as a painter comes with the same focus on learning and thirst for knowledge, as did her love of science. She has been exhibiting her paintings across the U.S. for over a decade.

John McCarthy (British) received his degree in fine art from St. Martin’s College of Art in London. Though not a conventional portrait artist, his work has hung in the National Portrait Gallery in London, and he was the recipient of the Visitor Choice award at the BP Portrait competition. He has shown extensively in the UK and most recently begun to exhibit in the U.S.

– Image Caption: Balkan “Crown” oil on wood 26×24 inches.

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