Andrew Mackow

January 10 - February 8
Optical Anarchy

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.

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