The son of ‘back-to the-land’ 1960s hippies, McNally grew up on a farm in rural northern Vermont. It was a culture filled with a hope of rejecting American suburban conformity, consumerism and abundance. However, the community was unable to sustain a life with its own hands. In reality, splitting wood, milking a cow, or identifying what a potato plant looks like, proved impossible for the sons and daughters of suburban affluence. A return to the comforts and realities of American society was inevitable.
The raw materials and simple collection in McNally’s sculptures are signifiers of the artist’s own heritage and its failures. For example, the firewood harvested and burned to keep his family warm, the hay grown and bailed by McNally’s parents and fed to cows and goats. Brick chimneys were the backbone of their simple homes.
MFA Bard '04