Brian McCarthy is an Irish artist based in Dublin. Working exclusively in oils, vibrant colours, photo-realism bordering on the surreal, are central to his craft
Brian’s career began in 1981 when a self-portrait sold at the Douglas Hyde Gallery’s Living Art Exhibition. Since then, he has undertaken numerous commissions and in 2019 was shortlisted for the Zurich Portrait Prize hosted by the National Gallery of Ireland for his portrait of RTÉ broadcaster Joe Duffy. This same portrait was subsequently exhibited in the Crawford Gallery in Cork.
In 2010, Brian’s exhibition Boomtown sold out within days of opening and received widespread media attention for accurately capturing Ireland’s mood following the banking crisis. Venetian carnival masks were the focus of Brian’s equally successful Masquerade exhibition in 1996. Acclaimed by critics and collectors alike, it was described by writer Michael O’Sullivan as: “A profound expression of painterly accomplishment and excellence.”
Elsewhere, his intricately detailed paintings have been included in numerous group shows at commercial galleries in Ireland and the UK, as well as the Royal Hibernian Academy’s annual exhibitions over many years. Fine art auctioneers, such as Christie's in London have featured his work at auction, and his paintings are held in numerous national and international private and corporate collections
I was born in Dublin and as a child loved nothing more than drawing and painting. In 1976 I started selling my paintings in local galleries.’
‘While I attended art college (1977 – 80), I found the pervasive avant-garde ethos and the lack of technical training in painting very disappointing. Like many other artists, I’ve learned my craft from what I consider to be the best sources – the great artists of the past. From a young age I read books about them and visited museums and galleries whenever I could. I have always worked exclusively in oils, producing an average of about twenty-five paintings a year.’ -Brian McCarthy