Saturday, September 8, 2012

Keelan McMorrow

Keelan McMorrow
       Artist Keelan McMorrow is an American Artist from the Midwest, specifically Illinois. His approach to painting is contemporary realism with a geometric mix, which is reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Writght’s stained glass. Growing up he had trouble deciding on whether to pursue a path of art or science. This confliction began in his childhood where he went around exploring for animals and other creatures and drawing them in his sketchbook. Through his tumultuous adolescence which lead him to his "stranded adulthood" he discovered that art was the one thing in his life he could exceed at and be in control of.



(Above left, Consumer Shark, acrylic and collage on panel, 50x40cm; Above right, The Truth Hurts, acrylic on panel, 76x101 cm; Bottom left, the artist himself Keelan McMorrow; Bottom right, Entanglement, acrylic on panel, 91x91cm.) .

Many of his works carry a political undertone and are full of symbolism. An example of this can be found in his piece "Consumer Shark" which was painted in acrylic and collage on panel. This work illustrates how American consumerism is similar to a hungry predator, this case a shark, to show the ferocity of a peoples need to buy. In the three works shown above the similarities that they carry is that they have a static background made of geometric patterns and a dynamic gesture movement of the subject in the foreground, usually a person. By combining these two contrasting techniques the subject in the foreground pops out and gives them a sense of movement, almost like dancing. Also the use of soften colors and lines in the work help enhance the realism of the human or animal subjects. His understanding of human and animal subjects could be accredited to his knowledge of science.

 I chose Keelan McMorrow because his painting techniques are very dynamic and highly influential on my own work, since we have similar backgrounds of art and science. One of my favorite quotes from him is "Growing up, I was always the artistic kid in class. I also loved science, fossils, and zoological studies; crawling in the mud after tiny things that were crawling in the mud. I was surrounded by books and always had a load of them with me wherever I went, along with the requisite sketchbook." This quote is exactly how I was when I was a child. He also states how he had dreams of becoming an, "artist, paleontologist, historian, herpetologist, astronomer, archaeologist, author, inventor, explorer, and superhero."  So not only are our techniques and styles similar but also our mindset during our childhood.

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