Paintings from Paul McDermott.

At times I think it if wasn’t for the New York Times insert in “Der Standard” I would not only fall prey
to the dead stare of my fellow commuters on the U-Bahn, but would miss on all the hot topics that keep
us informed, or from this perspective on the eastern side of the Atlantic, forewarned!
From the infighting of the “Sisterhood in the office” who sabotage each other’s ascent to power, to the
on going saga of the emerging kill joy anti dexterous E-book that make Tuesday afternoons and Laura
Sullivan’s not an “easy read” into someone’s weekly schedule. Touch Screen solutions and how they
transform societies and keep military bases at an comfortable distance by removing the GPS navigating
capabilities from I-phones in Egypt, to Hollywood’s self aggrandizing boast as the table setter for Mr.
Obama’s Presidency and some schmuck with bad hair in the Mid-West trying to shake down one of the
potential successors for his seat in the senate.

Somehow I can’t help but wonder if this all was “writing on the wall” in some downtown alley way or
bus terminal bathroom stall or in the cavernous dwellings of some metropolis’ sewer system. There are
several ways to pick up on clues about a civilization and what defines its culture. One is hieroglyphics
and the other is the comics or what is affectionately referred to as the “Sunday Funnies”.
Paul Mc Dermott’s works come off as confectionary cough drops. They’re easy to swallow regardless
of their subject matter. These are mostly photo based collages honey glazed in urethane to accentuate
their nature as precious commodity. It’s their exuberant colors and the whimsical quality of his drawing
element that gives off an air of joviality amidst the despondent message in the bottle.
In a recent email from him, Paul reports… “There is a glum cloud over NY a bit due to the sudden
unemployed masses, but at least the bars are full”.
Cheers Paul and thanks for giving me work when you had it!

Alexander Viscio
The New York Optimist
January 2009

Alexander Viscio
Paul McDermott