Mac Blackout is a Chicago-based muralist, visual artist, musician, and a key figure in the city’s art and music scenes. Mac works in multiple disciplines, creating art that radiates presence and transforms the world around us.
Mac attended college at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis where he graduated with a BFA in 1999. During his high school and college years he became a well-known graffiti artist in the Midwest underground. In 1999 he moved to Chicago channeling his creative energies into music and the music related art of posters and album covers. In recent years Mac’s focus has turned to visual art, painting, and mixed media sculpture, and his work has been shown nationally and internationally. His large-scale murals can be seen throughout the Chicago region and in cities across the United States.
As an artist, my work aims to radiate presence and illuminate the metaphysical through the visualization of energy and the sensory experience. Through a playful exploration of multiple disciplines I find vehicles for specific expression. I utilize each medium’s individual characteristics to achieve my vision, breathing life into the inanimate and transforming reality. The orchestration and juxtaposition of referential and abstract elements create a sense of mystery, guiding the viewer on a parallel journey of understanding and discovery.
In this new collection of drawings for the duo exhibition “Weird and Weirder” I focus on the intuitive and automatic elements of creation. These linear figurative works are the product of a long term focused study to visualize a higher spiritual expressive realism through an equilibrium between the analytical mind and the expressive animalistic nuances that make us human.
-Mac Blackout 2023
George John “LARDO” Larson studied painting with Morris Barazani at the University Of Illinois At Chicago in 1985. Professor Barazani was the head of the art department. He also started the art department at DePaul University. He challenged George to take chances and not be timid in his work. When being hesitant with his work, George can still hear Mr. Barazani say, “Come on , what are you waiting for?”. George will then push on with the piece thinking, “ Ok, i’ll show him.”. George was studying engineering, and Barazani said, “ We are going to get you to quit this engineering stuff. We are going to make you an artist.”.
George John “LARDO” Larson was in his teens when he was first called LARDO. Kids had twisted his last name Larson. He decided that LARD is pig fat, and Do is money. So he combined the pig, with a LARDO/dollar sign bling, for his tag. George paints the pig with bling, along with other characters of his, on walls, and on canvas.
He is a mature artist that creates work with the whimsy of a child.
His work is trying to capture the subliminal ironies and absurdities of events, words, and things. Real or imagined. To try and understand their basic, real, and invariable nature. To be open and curious about the world. How can we be accepting of things we don’t understand, if we don’t at least consider their underlying nature?
Life can be hard, and a struggle, but the pig is always smiling, and is surrounded by pretty colors. It is like laughing , to keep from crying. George feels that negativity can be like a sickness and poison your life. He is trying to give people something to smile about.