Miles “Mac” MacGregor
Born in Los Angeles in 1980 to an engineer and an artist, Mac has been creating and studying art independently since childhood. He was inspired at a young age by classic European painters such as Caravaggio and Vermeer, and Art Nouveau symbolists such as Klimt and Mucha. This was mixed with the more contemporary influences of graffiti and photorealism, as well as the Chicano & Mexican culture he grew up around.
He began painting with acrylics and painting graffiti in the mid ’90s, when his primary focus became the lifelike rendering of human faces and figures. He has since worked consistently towards developing his unique rendering style, which utilizes repeating contour lines reminiscent of ripples, Turing patterns and indigenous North American art. In 1999 he began to paint portraits of his friends and anonymous Mexican laborers in public spaces throughout the American southwest, both legally and illegally. He also started painting large aerosol interpretations of classic paintings by old European masters which led to being commissioned in 2003 by the Groeninge Museum in Brugge, Belgium to paint his versions of classic paintings in the museum’s collection. He has since been commissioned to paint murals across the US, as well as in Mexico, Denmark, Sweden, Cuba, Canada, South Korea, Belgium, Italy, The Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Spain, France, Singapore, Germany, Ireland, England, and Vietnam.
Many of his murals have become iconic landmarks, especially his collaborations with Retna, which combine Mac’s representational figures or portraits with Retna’s typography and designs. The majority of their collaborations have been painted in Los Angeles, as well as a few notable murals in Miami’s Wynwood Arts district from 2007-2009. Mac and Retna had an important exhibition together, “Vagos y Reinas” at the Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica in 2009. Alianza, a book documenting their individual and collaborative works was published by Upper Playground/Gingko Press that year. Their work was also featured on the cover of the US edition of the World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti published by Yale University Press in 2013.
Mac has had successful solo exhibitions at Fifty24SF Gallery in San Francisco (2009), Joshua Liner Gallery in NYC (2010), and Galerie Wolfsen in Aalborg, Denmark (2013). In 2010 he painted a large mural on the museum of contemporary art (MARCO) in Monterrey, México as part of the Seres Queridos project. In 2012 he was invited to paint a large mural in Havana, Cuba for the 11th Havana Biennial sponsored by the Cisneros-Fontanals Art Foundation, as well as a large mural for Adobe inside their new campus in Utah. In 2013 he was commissioned to create a large mural-sized canvas in collaboration with Shamsia Hassani (Afghanistan) and The Propeller Group (VietNam) for the 7th Asia Pacific Triennial in Australia, where the piece is now part of the QAGoMA collection. In 2013 he painted three large murals for Prada at the Fondazione Prada in Milan.
Mac continues to balance his love of painting large-scale public artworks around the world with his meticulous and time-consuming creation of indoor works. He aims to uplift and inspire through his careful, perfectionist renderings of both the sublime and the humble. He lives and works in Los Angeles.