Based out of Houston Texas, Mitch McGee is creating amazing mixed media artwork inspired by pop art and many of the licensed references we know and love here at Junk Food Clothing. We took a moment to catch up with him and learn a little more about his process.
JF: How did you get into creating mixed media art with birch?
MM: My first piece using birch was Lichtenstein with a Red Bow. I have always been fascinated with pop art and the ability of artists like Lichtenstein to take everyday objects we are bombarded with and make them fascinating. Roy Lichtenstein took comic strips and repositioned them as lithography. In an almost tongue and cheek fashion, I wondered how I could take one of his pieces and recreate it in another medium. I grew up working with wood building furniture with my dad, and combined with my graphic design background it left me with something that I think really works.
JF: Your work contains a lot of pop culture references – what inspires you?
MM: I have always been drawn to pop art. I will never forget seeing my first Lichtenstein and Oldenburg at the Hirshhorn in DC. Their work still influences me along with current artists, street art and the lowbrow art movement. A lot of my work is inspired by vintage comic books, but I am starting to add a new twist like the octopus in REM.
JF: Our favorite is the Captain America piece – are you a comic book fan?
MM: Thank you. Earlier this year I participated in a Super Hero & Villans group show and felt like vintage Captain America fit perfectly with the nostalgic, pop culture feel of these pieces. It was a lot of fun to work on and I plan on doing similar themed pieces. I was a big comic book fan as a kid and I spent a lot of my early years drawing from comic books.
JF: What direction do you see your artwork going in in the future?
MM: I have a couple of oils going, but for now I am going to run with the birch pieces. I am constantly thinking about new ideas and different directions to take these and I want to try them all. There is something about the wood that softens the colors and along with the grain really gives these pieces a vintage feel, and I am enjoying the process. In a way it almost feels like a new medium and I am going to push myself to add other elements or layers to the work.
JF: Thanks Mitch!
To keep up to date with Mitch's work you can check out his website: http://www.mitchellmcgee.com/