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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Artist Spotlight! – Stu Mackay Fine Art

In the lead up to MCM London (October 25th – 27th) we caught up with Stu Mackay of Stu Mackay Fine Art to discuss his art, motivations, Comic Con and more!

Stu MacKay is an International renowned Fine Artist, who’s visual creations infuses fine art painting with innovative graphic design.

Stu can often be found at London Conventions or at THE APPLE MARKET, COVENT GARDEN, London WC2E 8RD throughout October

What initially inspired you to create the types of pop culture art that you make?

I use knowledge and practical techniques of the various creative disciplines I’ve undertaken in my life. My adoration of the detail within Victorian fine art masterpieces is combined with a decade working in publishing on sci-fi film and TV publications. This period of art and sci-fi are both riddled with metaphors and symbolism, making a prefect marriage from which to cultivate and harvest my creative mind.

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

That’s all top-secret and part of the Stu MacKay visual magic.

Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your path as an artist?

My artistic path has alway been there – as a young children I’d doodle, and my uncles would draw for me with the excitement of knowing that one of them had studied at the same art college as John Lennon. In my mid-teens, I fell in love with liquidity of acrylic paint. Then followed further education, the universe-ity and beyond…

 A painting of Darth Vader, with typical British punk aesthetics superimposed

Darth Punked via Stu Mackay Fine Art

Do you have a favourite photograph or painting, which inspires you?

The grand masterpieces of John William Waterhouse. The playful visual stimulation of Bridget Riley. Jimmy Cauty: I take my hat off to him and his ice cream van. Jamie Hewlett (even if his thank you message to me got sent to the wrong recipient). And Jeff Noon, who helped me to understand my natural spoonerisms.

What visual references do you draw upon in your work?

There are many references within my work, from the surreal mashup of visual images, to their title and the hidden gems … Everybody loves a good Easter egg!

So Daleks – what is the appeal design wise or meaning wise for these iconic British Villains?

Doctor Who is part of the British institution like the Queen, Big Ben and Phone Boxes, making Daleks the most iconic shape to celebrate British Sci-fi design. I also appreciated the urban myth that the man who designed them wasn’t credited by the BBC. Raymond Cusick died in 2013 whilst I was working on my tribute to the story of his design ‘Marvin the Prequel’, and later that year I completed my collection of twelve paintings. In 2016, the Beeb eventually credited Raymond Cusick as the designer and art director behind these evil directors that want to take over time and space.

What advice would you give to a young artist following in your steps?

Research in depth, study hard, practice and practice techniques and, most importantly, learn from your mistakes.

Oh and try to do something creative everyday – it’s good for the soul!

What work do you most enjoying doing?

The excitement of developing new images from concept, painting, and the pleasure I get back from people’s engagement with the finished creation.

What superpower would you have and why?

I would need to cross reference my Marvel and DC encyclopaedias on a daily basis to create mashup characters that suits my moods. Some days I have my ‘justice’ head on like Batman, but also want all of the toys from Stark Industries. Or to be able to merge into any environment like Mystic. And who wouldn’t want to try out somebody else’s skills and abilities like Rogue. But I’m more of a Michelangelo.

Time Machine via Stu Mackay Fine Art

What is your dream project?

To create interactive art environments in public places.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

I think I’m just a little bit stubborn and learn from my own experiences. After all, we’ve only got one go at this life and it’s only you holding yourself back.

What has been the best or most memorable experience since you began exhibiting at MCM Comic Con?

Just enjoying meeting people from all over this planet who have prints or have heard about my painted images – it’s one of those ‘I made that!’ moments.

Anything else you would like to add?

Paintings and prints of Stu’s work are available from his website, plus he ships all around this planet.

A massive thanks to Stu for taking the time to talk with us! Stu can be found at MCM London STAND NV14 (North Hall near the Comic Village).

Check out his Website today for other incredible works!

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