By Joseph L. Campos Jr.
By Joseph L. Campos Jr.
Buena Park Fine Arts Coordinator Maya Mackrandilal and the Buena Park Fine Arts Division welcomed Los Angeles-based artist Katie McGuire to City Hall for the Exhibiting Artist Program. McGuire is a veteran artist who specializes in portraits of individuals from all walks of life within everyday society. She uses her talents to capture the hearts of the people and the urban bustle of the city while injecting life and magic into her portraits. Ordinary sceneries and everyday people soon become characters within an alternate dimension of Southern California Culture. Eleven of her paintings will be displayed from May 4 through June 9.
“Her art celebrates everyday people,” Mackrandilal said. “I honestly get the sense that maybe the artist knows these people on a personal level, like she cares about them. McGuire’s overall work has great personality, and she goes to great lengths to brighten up these people’s characters within each of these portraits.”
One of McGuire’s art pieces that best exemplifies Mackrandilal’s statements is the portrait titled “Man With Sign II.” The painting is of a homeless man who is stoic in his facial expressions. He is carrying a sign with a heart that has two arrows piercing through the middle of it. The sign reads, “Will work for food.” Despite the painting being a representation of a rather sad and bleak plight of someone who is suffering, it is dipped in many bright colors, with rose bushes in the background, artistic adobe houses lining the street, and bright stars that light up the city’s skyline. An ominous sense of love and comfort seems to exude from the piece, symbolizing a “beauty from ashes” testament.
“McGuire approaches this art piece not with a sense of mocking or making fun of the individual,” Mackrandilal said. “It is not to exploit him, to judge him, or to take pity on him. It is the human element of realizing that there is still a sense of deep beauty within all of us despite our current condition or life circumstances.”
McGuire’s style of artistic design utilizes a lot of oil paint, spray paint, and rhinestone-laced textures. Her work transports her viewers into a dreamlike state, where she tends to implement subliminal political and religious statements within her pieces to enforce a positive message. McGuire shares beauty using her talents to inspire others and give back to her community.
Another portrait that really stands out is titled “Man At The Mailbox.” In this particular scene, an angelic and serene profile of a man in a bright colored cloak with a big beard and mustache rushes to his mailbox, which is imprinted with a picture of The Virgin Mary. It looks as if this figure is eager to answer the messages that lie within the box. He smiles and stares at the viewer with a gleam of hope in his eyes.
“My personal favorite is the one titled ‘Man With Flower II,’” Mackrandilal said. “It is just beautiful. Again, I get the feeling inside that these are, in fact, real people that she may have encountered in her life, and that have meant something to her. McGuire’s work is very engaging to the spirit.”
This portrait shows a man in a brightly colored valley. He is picking a flower to smell it, while there appears to be a carnival in the background. It is an amazing display that seems to jump out at the viewer as if it was something out of a children’s story book.
Mackrandilal encouraged local artists to send in their work to be displayed at the Buena Park City Hall auditorium, especially for an upcoming Frida Kahlo tribute exhibit.
“We encourage local artists from around Orange County to submit surrealism-type artwork to honor the memory of Kahlo,” Mackrandilal said. “We are trying to help up and coming artists, as well as veteran artist’s, careers take off.”
Artists should email or send in images along with statements explaining their style of work and the tools that they use. They are welcome to price and sell their work. The Fine Arts Division does not accept commission from the artist’s work. This opportunity is available year round.
To find out how you can enter your art masterpiece into the exhibit, you can contact The Buena Park Fine Arts Division at 714-562-3868 or look them up at BuenaPark.com under Community Services and the Fine Arts Division tab.