The work of Chris McCrae is characterized by powerful typography and eye-catching graphic shapes which blur the lines between urban & contemporary pop art. Often influenced by social and political issues, he would like his work to captivate the viewer – to evoke a reaction or an emotion – and to be the starting point for discussion.
INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST
You say you are an advertiser by day, artist by night, how do the two relate? Is one an extension of the other or are they two very separate things for you?
There is a definite overlap in terms of the subject matter but not in the practice. I have worked with typography and brand logos all throughout my commercial career so I think that's why its very much at the forefront of my art work. I try to make my paintings have meaning and be thought provoking, but also have a good aesthetic and I think that is what is also an inherent philosophy within the advertising world.
text-based art is influenced by social and political issues, what would you
like it to evoke in the viewer?
that all good art should evoke a response, a reaction, or an emotion within the
viewer. That's what I’m aiming for, for it to be a starting point for a
discussion as well as looking great on a wall.
Could you describe your work space and state of mind when you are working?
At the moment it is just a spare bedroom within my house where I paint. It is a little bit restrictive in terms of size and keeping it tidy so I am looking to move to a larger space in the near future. I’m sure that this will also alter my headspace and inform the work that I do, allowing larger, more expressive works to be produced and also different techniques to be introduced.
Does the current social and political unrest affect you? Does this filter through into your work?
Of course. Work in my studio has definitely slowed due to the current social situation - it has been hard trying to paint in lockdown when I have my family in the house with me all the time and also having to juggle my day job too.
I have had many ideas based on the current political situation and I hope that these will surface as new paintings in the coming months.
Are there any other creatives, books, movies or music that inspire you?
My main influences are from the design & art world, but also I get inspired from everything that I surround myself with. I keep a notebook and am constantly writing down ideas or taking screenshots when watching a film, or lyrics from a song I’ve listened to, or even a colour from browsing through an art book. I guess I’m a bit of a cultural magpie.
Could you describe your work in three words?
Provocative - Bold - Statements