Artist Mark McGee’s work is hard to miss—it draws the eye with odd shapes, bright colors, and the suggestion of textures that both fascinate and captivate. A member of the international artist-promoting organization ART RAIN, the Brooklyn-based Mark has even showcased his work in galleries. Recently, Mark spoke with this Examiner about his experiences working as an artist:
Meagan Meehan (M.M.): How and when did you decide to become an artist?
Mark McGee (M.M.): When I was a kid, doodling on everything, and my Mom and Dad threatened to send me to art school. It was probably at that point. Art School never happened. Drawing in my Mom’s Life and Look magazines was probably the beginning, much to her grief.
M.M.: Growing up, which artists/types of art interested you?
M.M.: As a kid and into my teens I was most taken with surrealism. Dali is an influence. Also, I was fascinated with anything futuristic in that space age sort of way. There were also movies, Sci-Fi and silent movies; the way they looked.
M.M.: How would you describe your work and what inspires it?
M.M.: It’s always hard for me to describe my art. A hybrid of ideas, I’m sure. There’s a lot of experimentation and curiosity. I don’t normally have a set plan for how I want something to look. If I do have a plan, it usually changes. A horse becomes a cow, or something. Lately, I’ve been most inspired by the outside world. Cityscapes, cracks in the sidewalk, Coney Island.
M.M.: How did you go about getting into galleries?
M.M.: I’ve only ever been in one other show. In both cases it seems like planets aligned. I was noticed. I’m very lucky.
M.M.: Do you have a favorite piece? If so, which one and why?
M.M.: My favorite piece? It would have to be a Styrofoam sculpture I did a about 8 years ago. It was called “The Blue Tower.” Elaborate, and I obsessed over it. It was basically my take on a graffiti ruin, inspired by how New York looked in the 70’s and early 80’s. I loved working on it.
M.M.: What are your mediums of choice?
M.M.: They’d have to be photo art and the Styrofoam sculptures, for different reasons. I like the physicality of sculpting.
M.M.: Are there any mediums that you haven’t worked with yet but hope to soon?
M.M.: I’ve thought about film. That’s long been in the back of my mind.
M.M.: How did you get involved in ART RAIN?
M.M.: I noticed that a friend of mine belonged to the group. I like the vibe there very much. It feels like a scene, but without the physical place. Very modern.
M.M.: To date, what has been the most rewarding experience involving your artwork and/or being an artist?
M.M.: I’d have to say that most rewarding is being noticed. There’s an awful lot out there. It’s also rewarding, in its own way, to finish a complex piece of work; to just have it done and being able to move on, because I tend to obsess.
M.M.: What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to become an artist?
M.M.: If you love doing it, never, ever give it up.
M.M.: Are there any upcoming projects and/or events that you would like to mention?
M.M.: My current projects are musical, or spoken word. I’ve collaborated with British rock band Blue Giant Zeta Puppies on a cover of the David Bowie song, “Fashion.” I’ve also been working with producer Dion Harvey on a series of series of readings recorded on the Coney Island Boardwalk. That’s been fun. One, “Time Being”, was used in a podcast for Muffin Junkee. I was honored. Other than that, I’m in as singer / producer, Busy Wigs, are getting together in September for a photo shoot. That’s about it. I love being busy.
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To learn more about Mark McGee visit his official website and Facebook.