|Andrew Mackow (Gallery Two)
Most artists' talents grow and develop over time. They strengthen their
skills through repetition and practice. Andrew Mackow has a different
viewpoint. He believes that children are the true visionaries of the
art world and their unspoiled and direct attack demonstrates pure
creativity. Although children produce raw images, their concentration
level is very high; they create line drawings directly representing an
image. This is his inspiration.
A first grade teacher in an inner city Chicago classroom, Mackow
surrounds himself with children who produce drawings as part of their
classroom assignments, and has access to their creativity, so to speak.
Every night he collects their work for grading. It's here that he
chooses certain drawings, with the plan to combine them with his formula
for his paintings, merging both worlds.
Mackow's paintings start with a solid color ground. It can be any
color. Then, the drawing is projected and traced onto the canvas. The
next step involves drawing lines around the original, and moving the
lines just a bit, further and further away. It can follow a similar
path, or not. It can overlap in many different ways, or not. Added to
this linear repetition, is a choice of intense alternating colors,
chosen for specific optical effect. When working on this linear
technique, a sort of Zen connection or flow occurs. As he paints each
line, his mind is at its deepest level of concentration, just as if he
were young and pure, like his students that inspire him. The final
result are paintings that have a raw power combining simple imagery,
with the op-art of a contemporary artist. The paintings are literally
hallucinatory and electric in their power.