To read my review of “Van Der Plas Gallery Offers a Topsy-Turvy Tour of Jason McLean’s Mid-Life Mind” in the New York Observer, click here:

Van Der Plas Gallery Offers a Topsy-Turvy Tour of Jason McLean’s Mid-Life Mind

By Stephen Wozniak

I’m as Normal as Blueberry Pie
Jason McLean
May 30–July 14, 2024

Van Der Plas Gallery
156 Orchard Street
New York, NY, 10002
(212) 227-8983

Monday–Saturday: 11 am-6 pm
Sunday: 11 am-5 pm


A smaller work, Everything Will Be Alright, was created over a discarded child’s painting. It focuses on the mental health and perceptual well-being of the artist. Featuring loose floral stems, cavorting broad dots and what looks like fluid rivers of neural pathways colored in cool cerulean blue, bright scarlet and calming emerald greens, the painting’s stamped title hangs right in the sight of a small camouflaged face on the central figure’s oversized noggin. Several different sets of eyeballs, cells, sores and other circular stations along numerous overlapping brain and body networks seem to twinkle and blink like staccato stop-and-go traffic lights. Two anonymous, ghostly, red figures stand patiently off to the sides, one reaching out with a pointed limb—directly through the painting’s central character—to the other figure. Are they family or friends—there for support? Or maybe they’re perceived antagonists—often found in the foreground of schizophrenic hallucinations. In either event, the painting is full of life. Tiny smiles, leafy buds and seemingly animated little Disney-like arm-in-arm figures flutter about like spring has sprung, suggesting to us that the show must go on, even if we don’t have all the dance moves down or the motivation to join in the choral refrain. The painting seems to say that everything will be alright—if we simply keep moving through this ride called life.

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