McKay Otto


McKay Otto EverInTheMomentEver
McKay Otto EverSoonerEver
Acrylic on Transparent Nylon Canvas and Wood
McKay Otto EverAGleamEver
Acrylic on Transparent canvas & Wood
McKay Otto EverWithoutWordsEver
c.2011 Acrylic on Transparent Nylon Canvas and Wood
McKay Otto EverReturnLoveEver

McKay Otto talks on his latest exhibit Ever Self Ever in the Project Space Gallery at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center. Otto plans on elaborating on his newest series of work inviting the audience to hear about his painting while viewing them in both a light and dark environment.

About the exhibit:  For years, McKay Otto has aimed to free painting from the two dimensional to become trans-dimensional.  His intricately layered mixed media paintings are portals to a transcendental experience - both a mirror and a window, offering views to a higher consciousness.  Translucent and full of mystery, each work calls into question reality and perception.  Otto continues to investigate the notion of vastness and infinite space, inviting the viewer to visually voyage into another dimension - exploring the light inside of all things and beyond - leaving their connections to the material world behind.  In this body of work, new circular motifs emerge influenced by Australian aboriginal art and Zen Buddhism.  McKay’s works are to be experienced in both light and darkness

About the artist: McKay Otto was one of two artists mentored by Agnes Martin.  Exhibiting nationally for almost twenty years, McKay Otto is a Texan artist newly based in Wimberley, Texas.  Otto received a BA from the University of Texas, followed by studies at Laguna Gloria Art School in Austin, Texas, School of Perceptionism in Sedona, Arizona, and finally the Glassell School of Art in Houston, Texas.  In 2008, McKay Otto was a Hunting Prize finalist.  His work has appeared in publications such as Art in America, Art & Antiques, NY Arts Magazine, THE Magazine, and PaperCity.

McKay Otto uses light as an essential ingredient in his work, tapping its wide - ranging associations - spirituality, divinity, illusion, impermanence, inspiration, hope, andenergy.  The transparent surfaces of McKay's paintings invoke the presence of something sacred or transcendent, like a living embodiment of light which McKay describes as transcending beyond. Appealing to viewers who believe in art's transformative power.

McKay's works allow us to see our faith in art reflected back without judgment or intercession. Offering no political viewpoint and telling no story, but are a purely visual self-sustaining language that causes the viewer to consider the fabric of reality, the space/time construct, and the nature of perception.  

McKay Otto
McKay Otto

(Above : the same painting in different light…)

“McKay Otto is known for creating  Magical Space and Illusion that alters our perception of reality” Lora Drasner


"Magical space that alters our perception of reality; existential questions on beauty and immortality; these meticulously inner paintings, with thinly layered outer surface are the main ingredients that go into the making of McKay's work. These reflective, transparent and translucent surfaces confuse the eye and question our perception of reality. Disappearing marks and shifting perspectives transform the physical world. Like all illusions, the suspension of our beliefs is the vehicle that transports us to new places.  Our lust for truth is constantly tempered by the daily layers of existence.

The extraordinary and spectacular ambitions in life are often held aloft by plain and simple facts. Like the surface and the interior, one is defined by the other. In this work,  the surface creates remarkable illusions while the inner dimension serves as a container holding hidden treasures.

The outer lines contrast the inner perception depicted by inner lines. Light reflecting a world beyond and turning the surrounding environment into a collage of patterned images coming in and out of focus.
The mixing of the familiar form with the inner unknown and the reordering of the physical world is the underlying theme throughout this work. What is true?

Perhaps the meaning of life lays buried inside reality. Like all good adventures all we can do is to keep searching and looking." 

Lora Drasner