Between realities: The Surreal portals of Philip Mckay

A lone figure stands in a gloomy moor, an antenna searching the air in the place where their head is expected. A pair of strangers (or are they friends?) meet on a lonesome road, their words gone unsaid in the absence of their faces. Through the mists of time and space, music and mayhem, the world of Philip Mckay unravels in his transportive artworks capturing the invisible landscapes of our existence.

Mckay fully recognized his unique style of digital artwork while learning Photoshop alongside the serendipitous discovery of some inspirational artists. Belgian artist Rene Magritte’s novel perspective and Storm Thorgerson’s musically inspired graphic designs reinforced Mckay’s passion for distorting reality into a new scene: the world of surrealism. It’s in this genre that the questionings, fears, contemplations, or confrontations are explored.

The liminal universe in which all of Philip Mckay’s stories inhabit also is a mirror of his creative process itself. Similar to album artwork, Mckay’s initial stimulus is a title. The title then inspires a vision fulfilled by using a foundation of self-taken photographs or stock photos to create a composite image and eventual artwork. In this way, McKay manifests the ethereal landscapes of reflection and thought. One series “ The Dark Years” explored the struggle with anxiety and fear and was based on a series of self-portrait photographs all with a bag on his head. It received a fantastic response, particularly from mental health and psychology clinics. The series was a way to normalize new ways to process more fragile themes. Viewers’ contemplations in turn reflexively paint another layer of experience and beauty on top of each piece.

With such deep and at times vulnerable meaning behind each work, it’s no surprise that exhibitions and showing of work continue to be both the challenge and the reward. After his first private group exhibition, McKay was inspired by the rich conversation between both attendees and curators taking with him advice and ambition for the future. Today he continues to be delighted by the recognition in galleries and exhibitions but retains a close connection to his work choosing to, when appropriate, move onwards such as looking ahead of “The Dark Years” towards brighter themes.

The dreamy spaces of McKay’s beautiful digital artworks strike a balance of aesthetic and subjective meaning that makes them versatile for interior decoration. With symbolic imagery and intriguing titles, they are an open invitation to explore viewers’ resonance in their own story. For example the silence of Tell Me Your Fears sets a scene of deep solitude and thoughtfulness while the romantic feeling of Waiting For You may invoke a sensual suspense and sacredness. Both pieces’ central composition creates a dramatic energy that can focus the minimal style of modern or contemporary interiors. Aesthetics aside, McKay’s pieces also appreciate art in a greater sense that celebrates classic technique and drama but also looks toward art’s future as a way of inspiring and processing individual feelings and histories. Browse ARVIVIDs online gallery to see more stunning and provocative work from Philip McKay, as well as perhaps welcome one into your own home.

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