Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mac and Retna - Colab combo breaker

Miles MacGregor aka El Mac and Marquis Lewis aka Retna have recently celebrated their six years of collaboration by publishing "Alianza" (Spanish for alliance) documenting their amazing murals.

Both artists share influences well grounded in the Mexican and Chicano cultures prevalent in Los Angeles and the greater south-west. Their murals have become cornerstones of artistic culture and urban beatification in the local communities.

Mac was inspired by various sources growing up including Caravaggio, Mucha, and Vermeer. Religious works and pin-up art also impacted on his move towards figurative work. He also moved from working with acrylics into using aerosols reproducing works of the old masters. This evolution has lead him to being a much sort after artist internationally. His signature portrait works of Mexican women appear almost luminous. His work has continued to evolve, suspected in no small part ti his close work with Retna, with his works now built up by softly blended contours. This texturing on his work is offset by his photorealistic canvases.

Retnas work has also developed out of his immersion into Los Angeles graffiti and street culture. His early work was often based around the appropriation of fashion advertising then built up with layers of bright energetic colors. The development of lettering as a major feature in his work and a probable progression from his gestural brush work to a calligraphic stroke form. Along with his mural work he has also started working with life models akin to those from his original fashion advertising hi-jacked work. Painting directly onto the models skin and then again onto the photographic prints.

As a pairing I believe these two can not be beaten. Please enjoy the amazing portrait work of El Mac and complementary letterforms of Retna.

El Mac


Colab works

Big gallery I know. If you made it to this far I hope you enjoyed it. :D

Images shamelessly stolen from almost everywhere.