“Art is not about the object itself, any piece of art is a vehicle to bring you an experience, to provoke a thought, an emotion or a new perspective. The art is the experience you have with the piece.” - Mackenzie Thorpe
Mackenzie Thorpe's journey from dyslexic child ostracised by his peers to international artist exhibiting worldwide has been both extraordinary and inspirational. Born into a working class family in Middlesbrough, UK, struggling through school with an undiagnosed learning difficulty, and doing manual work in the local shipyard by the age of 15, Mackenzie defied the expectations of society with a combination of pioneering style and unbridled passion.
After seeing a film about Van Gogh he began to wonder whether he could transform his dream of being an artist into a reality. His portfolio of work won him a place at art college and he went on to complete a fine art degree in London. In the nearly 30 years that ensued, Thorpe has exhibited in museums and galleries across the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. He has received an honorary doctorate of Fine Arts from Teeside University, has lectured extensively on the transformational power of art and has worked with children across the world to overcome adversities through art’s universal language.
Thorpe's work continually conveys the polarity of life’s experiences, celebrating its pure joy while also providing a deep exploration of its sacrifices and struggles. He sees these two sides of life working together to punctuate the intensity of each other and to form a complete look at the human condition. As Thorpe says, “Laugh, scream, love and cry, but when you do, do it with the full conviction and passion of the human spirit."