David McDermott and Peter McGough (born 1952 and 1958 respectively) attended the University of Syracuse in the 1970s. In the 80s, the two were known in New York City’s East Village art scene for their self-immersion in the Victorian era, their lives and art strictly defined by the era of the fin de siècle. Through this time-based “portal,” McDermott and McGough challenge the chronological boundaries of art history and cultural identity. They question the nature of nostalgia and narrative, and the ways in which the past is conceptually and contextually reoriented for the future. The subsequent evolution of their work has found them more recently inspired by Hollywood cinema, advertising tropes, and comic books of the 1950s and 60s – the duo again searching for identity within an artificial world.
McDermott & McGough live and work in New York and Dublin. Their work is represented in numerous collections including: International Center of Photography, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence; Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Whitney Museum of American Art, among others. McDermott & McGough will be the subject of an upcoming exhibition, I’ve Seen the Future and I’m Not Going (2017), held at Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, Texas.