The piece is a self-portrait completed during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic in Somerville, Mass. The concept stems from the mounting question about the meaning to life; a female figure questioning existence and truth beyond this modern, chaotic society. The sculpture asks: Who am I? What is my role as a human being? What am I doing on this planet? It implores: Please guide me.
Not many makeup artists would voluntarily put down their blush brushes to pick up scalpels and dissect human cadavers, but Erin McCarthy has been taking the road less traveled all her life.
Her career began in the fashion and beauty industry but after a turn studying under world-renowned makeup artist and body painter, Dany Sanz, at the Makeup Forever Academy in Paris, from 2006-07, Erin’s interests shifted to special effects makeup. In order to achieve the highest levels of realism in her work and learn enough about the human form to be able to sculpt prosthetics if required on a job, Erin decided to immerse herself in the study of realistic sculpture and spent three years at the Florence Academy of Art. There, she learned the methods of the old masters and eventually exhibited throughout Europe. She served as artist-in-residence at the prestigious Galerie Schloss Weispach in Hallein, Austria, before returning to Boston in 2016 to set up her studio.
McCarthy’s work is so lifelike that she was honored by the Portrait Society of America (PSoA) with first place in its 2019 international juried art competition for a bust of her father, titled “Simple Man.”
McCarthy’s commissions include several busts, figurative conceptual art, and public works.