The influences for McGee's own artwork came from the style of Pop Art legend, Roy Lichtenstein. According to McGee, "Lichtenstein with a Red Bow was the first piece that started me down this rabbit hole".
Roy Lichtenstein took comic strips and re-positioned them as lithography. "In an almost tongue-in-cheek fashion I wondered how I could take one of his pieces and recreate it in another medium. The easy answer for me was wood. I grew up working with it and, combined with my graphic design background, it left me with a new medium and expression that I think really works". From that start, Houston artist, McGee began to create his own style and establish his unique voice.
Today, his creativity exists in that space between painting and sculpture. In his Birch series, McGee uses pieces of wood, each illustrated, hand cut and stained or painted to create dimensional pieces. Each painting is filled with thick layers and subtle shadows. There is a warmth created by the imperfection of the birch and its grain that creates an emotional connection. Each painting is a labor of love, taking 40 to 50 hours or more to complete.
His artwork has been exhibited throughout Texas since 2001 and in New York with Elisa Contemporary Art since 2012. His work is in public and private collections throughout the world. Mitch McGee’s artwork was featured in the March 2013 issue of Dwell Magazine, in W Magazine in October, 2013, and a solo exhibit at 1st Dibs in NYC in December 2013.
Written by Lisa Cooper