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ECHO: The Art of Echo McCallister, Outsider Artist

June 14, 2006 - August 6, 2006


Excertps from The Unconscious Voice of the silence, by Juan Martin, Executive Director of National Art Exhibitions by the Mentally Ill (NAEMI).

On Echo McCallister:

When I look at Echo’s paintings, I can’t help remembering “When I am painting I’m not aware of what I’m doing.”  These are important words, necessary to understand autistic art.  Maybe Pollock is the intellectual ancestor of every autistic artist, or as Dr. Dumont said: “all artists are autists.”  In that case, Echo is the greatest artist among autists.  He makes me wonder:  is it possible to create without being autistic?  Is autism the material, the substance masterpieces are made of?

In Echo’s work we find fantastic characters: invisible an evanescant birds, wild flowers on plowed land, trees in woods devoured by deforestation, and transparent cars which do not polute the air, running along back roads.  Echo’s houses seem to have escaped from the destructive manipulation of human beings.  There is only some silence, some loneliness, and some beauty in the landscape which can only be achieved when man does not interfere with nature to build a new highway so as to drive faster from mall to mall.  Houses- universe.  Houses- cosmos.  We feel in each of Echo’s houses there is a whole world.  They are linked to the past, and it is as if they also encourage us to rebuild those houses lost in our memory.

The shapes and the transparent bodies emerge as a mystery, asking one question:  what can we do with the mystery of the other?  While the shape-characters try to be camouflaged among colors, they appear naked to show their inner side, where the artist builds his melancholic self,  longing for the past which has been lost, together with hope.

I believe Echo’s work seeks eternity, the incredible eternity of that lost garden that he wishes to find in reality, in his work, in that place where the mother is always responding to the needs of the flowers, of rain, of earth…  I assume that Echo does not know the difference between reality and fantasy.  And as every artist does, he makes both meet at the same point.  He thus builds a fantastic reality, ephemeral, onirical, in which we are guests of this wonderful spectator: Echo McCallister.

Exhibition organized by NAEMI, curated by Ricardo Viera.


June 14, 2006
August 6, 2006
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9 West Packer Avenue
Bethlehem, PA 18015 United States
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