Utah-based artist McGarren Flack captures everyday moments of human vulnerability through painterly realism. His career as a paramedic brings him face-to-face with people at their most helpless moments, which inspired him to contemplate the nature of being vulnerable. Whether sitting alone in a cafe or unknowingly dropping a possession on the street, the human condition is always subject to powerlessness. “It is important for me to share these scenes because I believe it will help the viewer connect to humanity,” says McGarren. “There is no escaping the feeling of vulnerability; it is blind to skin color, social status, and age.”
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About The Artist
Each artwork is painted life size to allow the viewer to become a participant in that experience. It is important for me to share these scenes because I believe it will help the viewer connect to humanity. Their is no escaping the feeling of vulnerability, it is blind to skin color, social status, and age. Once we have connected with others in their experience of helplessness, we can better understand how to help and support one another.
None of these images are of the actual scene or of the actual person. I used models and set up the scene correlating to the image that is seared in my mind. It is not important to capture the exact look, but to capture the feeling of the scene. As an emergency responder I have learned to not react to a shocking scene, because if I emotionally respond to the scene at that moment it could be paralyzing, which would provide undesirable results. I have to place my emotions deep until after I have delivered the patient to definitive care. These paintings help me process, emotionally and physically, the vast experiences I have had with others.
Most of the art pieces were given two names: a phrase or word describing the experience and the emergency dispatch code.
The University of Utah
Master of Fine Arts, 2008
Brigham Young UniversityBachelor of Fine Arts, 2005