New York based artist Jim McKenzie, who is also an accomplished animation director, once said that his dream is to rebuild Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. His upcoming debut solo show entitled “Lost Magic” comes pretty close. Opening on June 4th at Copro Gallery in Los Angeles, McKenzie’s exhibit invites viewers to enter into his surreal imagination: new paintings and hand-painted resin sculptures of fun and playful characters that recall our favorite childhood fairy tales with a twist.
Two years in the making, some of the wacky characters inhabiting McKenzie’s candy colored world include a magical Disney-esque scarecrow, a pink half-unicorn, half-racoon smiling with rabid delight, and even a bright blue furry caterpillar with a face modeled after the artist’s pet pug. Though highly fantastical, to the point of being ridiculous, and painted in happy colors, McKenzie’s work is riddled with an underlining darkness, depicting themes of loss and death.
“I wanted to showcase the intersection where beauty and sadness intertwine within,” McKenzie says. “I’ve chosen to create contrasting hybrids and though they have these brilliant colors and seemingly majestic qualities, ultimately, they are all outcasts. This show is for those who’ve lost touch with the magic this world has to offer and for those who still want to see it.” “Lost Magic” will be on view through June 25th, 2016.