Steve McKenzie - Artistís Statement

Creating art is something for which I have always aspired. I have been painting in earnest for 15 years and have struggled with the idea of creating work I would let leave the studio. This show represents a major breakthrough in my outlook on my work and its validity. Thanks to a group of friends and a lot of encouragement, I finally decided it was time to take this important step.

The experience has been deeply rewarding. Through the making of this work, I have found a voice deep within that before I could only hear as a whisper. It sings to me regularly now and I look forward to letting the world hear it.

The process of art making is what is meaningful to me. I approach a blank paper, panel or canvas only with an attitude of discovery. Drawing upon all the creative energy of those that went before me, I begin, completely uncertain of where it will take me. I lose all track of time and place when I am working in the studio, and it is only upon stopping and going back days later to reflect on what is left behind from the process, do I begin to understand the work and what is there. From this, I edit what I think is valid.  It is during this process I discover what the work is telling me.

I have drawn from history extensively in this body of work. The 19th century French and Czech letters and documents found in flea markets and then collaged into this work, represented for me a chance to capture the thoughts and souls of others that would be lost, were they not present in the work. Their writers and receivers collaborated with me to create this moment in time viewed from the present, yet carrying all the history of their provenance. I hope everyone who views this work finds meaning and inspiration in the small details of my vision.

McKenzie, a mixed media artist, has been painting for the last 15 years. Seldom has he released work from his private studio he maintains outside Atlanta, in Forsyth County, GA. The few pieces he has relinquished reside in private collections. In a rare concession, he has accepted the invitation to exhibit his work at Goldleaf Gallery.