The Chuck Jones Galleries will be hosting a trunk show of rare & sold-out limited edition lithographs, serigraphs and sculpture by the internationally acclaimed British artist, Mackenzie Thorpe, on Saturday, March 27th from noon until 6 PM. Our special guest will be Kari Guhl, Thorpe's publisher and collaborator. Please join us with your RSVP at SanDiego@ChuckJones.com or by phone at 888-294-9880.
Mackenzie Thorpe was born and raised in the British industrial town of Middlesbrough in the 1950s where his father worked as a laborer and his mother as an auxiliary nurse. With mixed emotions Thorpe recalls the strong feeling of community spirit, the warmth and humor that flourished in the face of adversity, as well as the loneliness and isolation.
Struggling with dyslexia throughout his childhood, Thorpe found confidence in painting and drawing. He sought out whatever raw materials he could find in order to express himself; drawing on cigarette packs with stubs of pencils, or using eye-shadow and lipstick cribbed from his mum's makeup bag. Thorpe quit school with formal qualifications, taking on a variety of manual, unskilled jobs while continuing to draw and paint.
Thorpe eventually gathered up the courage and entered the local art college. His lack of education and an barely legible application did nothing to warrant support, but the strength and volume of work that he presented, coupled with his enthusiasm and commitment, won him a place at the Middlesbrough College of Art and subsequently, the Byam Shaw School of Art in London.
After art school, Thorpe spent several years working with inner-city children in London. Eventually Thorpe left London and with his wife, Susan and children, Owen and Chloe, set up a home and studio in North Yorkshire where he resides today. His work expresses an entire range of human emotion, from the special bonds of love and friendship to the importance of self-reflection and individual triumphs. His works are a tribute to the creativity within all of us and are a vivid expression of hope and the ascendancy of the human spirit.
Thorpe's perspective on life is clear. He doesn't hid the fact that often life is a struggle, a dark tunnel which, at times, can seem endless. However, he passionately believes that our frail dreams are worth nurturing and that love and honesty will triumph over adversity. Throughout his artistic working years, an iconography (symbolic references) has emerged, some of the more prominent are:
CHILDREN WITH FLOWERS: "Children are the source of love; they plant it at our feet, nurture it and help it grow throughout our lives."
BIG FEET: "The big feet symbolize that I never want to forget where I came from, no matter how different my life has become. It can be dangerous to forget your roots. Your ego takes over, and you've got wings on your feet suddenly. If I got to full of myself, I wouldn't be the man Susan fell in love with and married. I wouldn't be the father of my children. My feet are firmly planted on the ground and that's where I want them to stay, totally grounded. It's important never to become bigger than your shoes."
SQUARE ANIMALS: "When I started drawing the square sheep they represented society's narrow-mindedness and rejection of things new or different. But after I had a near-fatal car accident, the sheep came to mean something different to me, more to do with my wife and kids. My family is one of the biggest influences on me now, I love them with all my heart. So now, these big square animals are about love and closeness we are so privileged to share. They fill the entire space of the canvas, as if the feelings we share for each other stretch to the very edge of our world."
To learn more about Mackenzie Thorpe, his art & iconography and to preview the trunk show, please contact your Chuck Jones Gallery art consultant. San Diego: 888-294-9880, Santa Fe: 800-290-5999 and Tustin: 800-959-7175.