We were fortunate to have had the opportunity to sit down with McDavid Henderson, to get an insight view of his work and inspirations.
madelife will be home for a collection of his new series “Blog” opening First Friday September 5th.
*Has your childhood had a significant effect on your work?
My first experience with art was the Brooklyn Museum when I was four. I was quite literally enchanted with the painting “A Storm in the Rocky Mountains, Mt. Rosalie” by Albert Bierstadt, 1863. So enchanted in fact that I left my father to return and admire the painting. The experience was so magical that I felt I was occupying that space and action. A significant aspect of this anecdote was that my father just stood by me and waited till I was done. My path was chosen. Plus it’s cool that I ended up living in Colorado.
In addition, being a “true” American (multi racial) has played a significant role in my pursuits and my embracement of the Katachi philosophy (understood through Soetsu Yanagi). An embracement of opposites.
*You have been teaching at CU, what is it about teaching that inspires you?
Teaching affords great opportunities in terms of remaining in a creative/growth state. It in necessary to have a reliably legible approach as I pass on information from previous Artists and my own experiences. Witnessing the student’s growth and curiosity keeps me tethered, focused and inspired. I have discovered that patience and being consistent has allowed me to continue to pursue my ambitions. It is a symbiotic relationship.
Would you elaborate on your most recent Series?
“Katachi being the notion of embracement of opposites using the concept of an “Analog Blog”
These drawings represent a new approach as I pursue the formal aspects (visual elements) of creating and the desire to communicate and connect with an audience. As mentioned above, I have a certain freedom, as I do not “belong” to any group. Therefore, I enthusiastically embrace various making methods/mediums. I began my career in Illustration and quickly discovered that most Art Directors desire to have a stable of Style Makers. That was an artistic/intellectual dead end for me. Depending on my intentions I will pursue and learn various techniques and approaches to creating. Discovering this notion of Katachi was quite illuminating and encourages a confidence within me.
The notion of an “Analog Blog” creates a matrix in which the audience can be more receptive to these changes in pace, subject matter and media.
Has your travels affected your artwork?
Travel has been beneficial to me. It offers an opportunity to “stand” outside myself and discover alternative ways to occupy my time as I travel around the sun. Even considering different languages and physical environments become significant as I continue to explore methods of articulating the “poetry” of consciousness. Part of being an artist requires lots of observation and travelling creates this naturally. In turn, returning “home” I have fresh eyes and heart to notice different aspects of my environment that can be overlooked simply because of routine.
How do you hope the viewer experiences your artwork?
I don’t have any expectations. I liken it to sending out a signal and discovering if there are any responses.
What do you want to share with the world?
My belief in creating/growing. Sharing my point of view based observation and listening to what’s around me. To reference the teaching experiences, the notion of someone communicating is quite profound and deserves consideration, not dismissal. It is easy to feel justified in our personal worldviews. Yet when I consider others it always ends up being more significant and illuminating.
Peace and Love.
What inspires you right now?