Mitch McGee creates art that pops. His colorful pop art pieces are at once sharp and pleasantly subdued. His work, however, takes a very steady hand and unconventional canvas. That’s because McGee carves out the features of his subjects and places them against a wood backdrop. His art is what he calls “somewhere between painting and sculpture”, and that is, indeed, what it feels like. The textures pop with life as certain features are lifted off the canvas. However, because the wood has its own texture, the viewer’s eye is still drawn to the stunning flat surface.
His work begins with a sketch and careful planning. McGee deconstructs what he’s created on paper, breaking it down into focal elements. Those areas that need to stand out are carefully chosen and crafted out of thin pieces of wood, to put over his canvas. In an interview with My Modern Met, he describes the tricky process:
"The most challenging part of the process is figuring out the layering," he tells us. "The piece changes from the original sketch a little as I go because what works on paper doesn’t always work three dimensionally. I want everything to stack up in a way that makes sense so, even if most of a layer is hidden, the edges need to match the layer on top of it."
The results are amazing. The carefully chosen layers and texture create something almost touchable.
McGee is a Texas-based artists and posts many of his works in progress on his Tumblr page. His delicate pieces are truly a labor of love. Of his philosophy, McGee states:
"I am a believer of art, for art’s sake, being the purest of inspiration. I am always driven to create, constantly challenging myself to imagine and construct something new. It is an obstacle I wrestle with often – can we really create something wholly unique? While I may not ever be able to fully separate myself from the influences of my senses, my experiences, my environment; my goal each time is to craft a fresh interpretation of that which moves me. An interpretation that might evolve several times throughout the process and one that could be realized by another’s senses differently, which in return gives me a new and fresh perspective. To me this is the most rewarding part of the experience."