McDermott and McGough are multimedia artists known for their nostalgic obsession with by-gone eras. The duo met in New York in the 1980s, where they became known for their eccentric blending of art, fantasy, and daily life. McDermott and McGough immersed themselves in the Victorian era, dressing as Edwardian dandies, reading by candlelight, and living according to the tastes and technological limitations of the late nineteenth century.
Artistic polymaths, MCDermott and McGough have faithfully reproduced nineteenth-century daguerreotypes, Victorian silhouette paintings, depression-era movies, and midcentury comics and advertisements. Their tongue-in-cheek images of 1950s suburbia often include homoerotic subtexts, poking fun at the conservative values of the time. Their work is at once nostalgic and ironic, often mocking the illusory past while reveling in it. MCDermott and McGough's work has been shown in numerous galleries and museums including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. In 1997, their work was featured in a mid-career retrospective at the Provincial Museum voor Moderne Kunst in Oostende, Belgium.