Art And Aoul On Newbury

So, is advertising art? If you’re Tom Mc Carthy, it might be better. You don’t have to pay the bills.

“In the past, all I had to worry about was creativity,” says the former Holland Mark creative director, who recently opened an art gallery, New Art on Newbury, in Boston. But in the three months since he grabbed some of his own land scape paintings and opened shop, he’s getting the hang of it.

“I know how to market myself,” he says. He also knows what he wants to show, includ ing work from Boston ad types: sculptures by Bob Curry of Cronin/Wallwork Curry; computer-generated drawings from Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos co-founder Steve Cosmopulos; clay paintings from Deb Brown of Arnold.

It’s clearly no get-rich-quick lark. McCarthy only secured the space on trendy Newbury Street thanks to the depressed real-estate market. And while this is his main gig for now, he is doing freelance ad work and will probably go back full-time eventually. “I’d probably get my wife to run this and be here nights and weekends,” he says.

But seriously, is advertising art? “When I started, it was called commercial art, and that’s what it still is, really,” he says. “Maybe if Picasso did Absolut vodka, it would be considered art.” Unlike fine art, which can seduce a viewer over time, “advertising has to grab you at the moment,” he adds. “It’s the art of sales.”