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Nick McPhail

Los Angeles-based painter Nick McPhail conveys energy, light, and the California heat through a high-contrast palette. His oil paintings capture nearby landscapes interrupted by clean-lined houses and buildings, seamlessly bridging architecture and the nature through one vibrant background. This ground peaks through unexpected areas likes the edges of car door and patchy areas of a tree. In a recent article in It’s Nice That, McPhail comments on his process, stating: “I usually start with a source photo that I’ve taken and then begin doing drawings based on the photo’s composition. From there I start thinking about color relationships and how the underpainting will interact with the overpainting. Once I move onto the canvas I usually stop referencing the original source photo and I start thinking more about making the painting ‘work’. I often change light sources, reinvent compositional elements, and add layers of images that have no relation to the initial photograph. For me, a successful painting is one that ends up surprising me in its final state.”

McPhail received his BFA from Michigan State University in 2006. He has held solo exhibitions at Ochi Projects and Holiday, both, Los Angeles, CA; Untitled_1983, Geneva, Switzerland; Mina Dresden, San Francisco, CA; and Kresge Art Center, East Lansing, MI. His work has been exhibited in group shows at venues including Circle Contemporary, Chicago, IL; Untitled Art Fair, Miami, FL; Fridman Gallery, New York, NY; Central Park Gallery, Monte Vista Projects, Nowspace, and Half Gallery LA, all, Los Angeles, CA. He was awarded several residencies, including one at Untitled_1983 in Geneva (2019), Holiday Forever Residency, Jackson, WY; 100 West Corsicana, Corsicana, TX; and the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT.

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