January 30, 2022
It all started with two semi-unrelated events. I was looking for possible future True West covers and came across this painting:
Frank McCarthy's "Coming of The Iron Horse"
(cropped to show the proportions
of a possible TW cover)
Someone commented that it was a masterpiece and then someone else commented that McCarthy was merely an illustrator and not a fine art painter and then my brother in Art—Kid Ross—weighed in with this:
"When I was a junior in college I bought a book of Frank McCarthy's paintings. One of my art teachers scoffed at it. I didn't know why; now I do.
"You can see this in much of the contemporary western art scene: these guys get together and dress up to look like a mountain man or an Indian etc. They take photos of each other and then merely reproduce the photograph....and you can both see and FEEL just how "dead" these paintings are. (Especially when they give them names!)
"Look at Remington's paintings and how his brush work merely "suggest" things.....compared to Remington's brush work, Frank McCarthy's is detail pornography in that it shows you everything leaving nothing left to the viewer's imagination.