John McVay, Bubble Bobble, 2020, video

Bubble Bobble destroys the fragile barrier between my exposed bodily vulnerability and the aggressive masculine social conditioning that informs my experience in life. A mumbled greeting is forced through a mask of fur, followed by a self-flagellation, a protected display of subjection, and a battle between pleasure and pain. Wanting to be other than myself, a yearning to experience the pain that my privilege has shielded me from, to understand myself through someone else. I amplify the popping of the bubbles that surround me while I stab the microphone into my torso and lap. The weakness of my flesh takes the blows of the mic and echoes back with a cry of strength. With the bubbles popped, the microphone falls to the floor and cries. 


John McVay currently works and lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. A recent transplant to Las Vegas, he has spent most of his life in Arizona, between Phoenix and Tucson.

He a student at UNLV pursuing an MFA degree, and he received a BFA in printmaking at Arizona State University. 

His work examines the ways in which the media represents and idealizes, and the way that nostalgia functions in relation to the status quo. Control, disappointment, and a confusion of the self are some negative effects of capitalism that seep into our minds through our addictions and obsession with popular media. Recombining disparate fragments of print media artifacts and the detritus of bygone years, the work is the piecing together of childhood memories, making sense of the past from scraps of recollections and coming to terms with the control, disappointment, and confusion of present and future moments. How does the comfort of nostalgia guide or mislead from childhood to self-actualization?


instagram: @ johnjohnmcvay


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