Those who have had the pleasure of meeting Marc Etherington will understand the sincerity of his painted worlds. Bright, nostalgic, loaded with pathos, and delightfully absurd; each little universe from the studio of Marc Etherington is fine example of narrative painting at its best. Etherington’s works are wonderfully honest. And it is through this honesty that the Australian born and Canadian based painter commands the attention of art collectors worldwide.
Self-taught and born in Sydney’s south, Marc Etherington spent his formative years ingratiating himself in the Sydney art community while fostering his emerging painting career. By both directly and obliquely referring to pop-culture, film, music and internet culture, Marc Etherington has, over many years, finely attuned his now globally recognised voice.
In recent years, an important development in his work is Etherington’s investigation of the frame, a trope that unifies the seemingly disjointed collection of paintings in Wondering About Things, 2022. Hand carved churches and Muppets, faux bison fur and Oompa Loompa’s in formation, show us Etherington’s endless inventiveness and confidence to break from the norm. The sheer strangeness and completeness of each scene in the accompanying paintings draw us in even further, eliciting a smile from the viewer in the process.
Etherington’s practice is courageously unpolished, but full of effort and care. His paintings speak to viewers in the way that low-fi music does; warm with honesty and life. Sad Alcoholic Riding a BMX Bike (Self Portrait) irreverently tells a full story, through use of one simple scene. Cheers invites us into Marc’s world, while Sea Hags (triptych) hurdles us into an imaginary one one. The painting and sculptural works of Marc Etherington are ones to be treasured, ripe with undeniable charm.