John McKie is an artist based in the north of England, who uses found materials to construct a world of lively chaos.
His work, which has been shown in London, Berlin and Copenhagen, emanates folk art influences. His simple, distorted figures and favored palette of black and ultramarine create a naive charm, which is underpinned by irreverent humor.
McKie creates each work of art in a single spontaneous sitting, allowing his imagination to populate each piece with a mischievous cast of top-hatted figures, tall dogs and wobbling jellies.
Like the limericks of Edward Lear, John McKie’s pieces are playful, but not without a measure of dark humour. Like Lear, McKie borrows from the carnivalesque tradition, to stretch the proportions of his characters, bend rules and celebrate nonsense. Using gouache paints and oil markers, he transforms cardboard and recycled magazine pages into carnivalesque scenes, where high and low-brow mingle.
McKie’s capricious figures smoke pipes in show homes, serenade models on fashion shoots and navigate interactions with wild animals, subverting order and inviting playful reinterpretation.
McKie’s art invites us to forget our troubles, and share in his freeing facetiousness.