El Mac: Making the Ordinary Extraordinary
Larger than life, the work of Miles "Mac" MacGregor uses the streets as a way to continue the tradition of portraiture. Born in Los Angeles, the self-trained artist focuses on subjects that celebrate and reflect the cultural history of the southwest. Introduced to graffiti and tagging as a teenager, it was the materials and process involved in spray painting that captivated the budding artist more than writing letters. Encouraged by an artistic mother, the artist slowly honed his craft, and developed a unique method of painting that is unmistakable fresh and technically brilliant.
In an era when the skill set of painting realistically has slowly receded from art schools, it's ironic that a man without a formal art education has taken up the baton of representational portraiture. For hundreds of years, the wealthy, powerful, and influential had their portraits painted. These images typically display the sitter's occupation and/or interests, a luxury of the higher class. Mac like many artists learning their trade began by painting portraits of friends and family members but this output eventually progressed to conceptually heavier material. Choosing to paint a series of anonymous Mexican laborers, these paintings honored those that would not be typically featured in the history of portraiture.