It’s difficult to describe these images without getting into a nether region of surrealist lingo that leaves us all in the lurch. The thing is, it’s hard to describe things that have this much potency, so much context and colliding ideals. It feels like cultural math, a formula governed by shapes and creation, yet completely informed by a global subconscious mind that we all share.
Scott McGrath creates these digital collages with clear skill, flawlessly blending sources and imagery in a specific confluence that can most succinctly be described as, next-level. I’m extremely excited to have discovered and subsequently caught up with one of my favorite new artists. Boundaries and formulas are good for engineering.
Art should be a lot more wide open. Scott McGrath proves that it is.
EL: Your about page states that you draw ‘inspiration from literature, comparative religion, myth, his (your) own interiority, and surrealists,’ who are some of your favorite writers or artists?
Scott McGrath: So many. Among my perennial favorites–writers whose work I have loved for a long time or I always go back to in some way–are Umberto Eco, Frank Herbert, T.S. Eliot, Neil Gaiman, John Dos Passos, HD, Kurt Vonnegut and, most especially, Cormac McCarthy. I’d be entirely remiss without adding the plays of Shakespeare, the poetry of Bob Dylan and the Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, as well. One really balks at readily listing the likes of those three in such places, though, eh? They seem too big to immediately and simply fit the answer to the question of favorites. But there they belong, nevertheless.
Remedios Varo and Dave McKean head up any list of my favorite artists.
EL: That’s an exceptionally inspiring list! Speaking to the spirituality portion of that last question, as an agnostic (perhaps funnily), I also find comparative religion fascinating… what about worship and spirituality intrigues you creatively?
Scott McGrath: That fascination might be leading you somewhere, you know. The Universe might tap you on the shoulder one of these days and say “I hear you’ve been looking for me.” Keep your eyes open. You’ll always find the thing you’re looking for in the place you’d most expect to find it and the place you’d least expect to find it.
I have not been among those who worship for some time, but I have ever liked the pageantry of ritual as well as the sense of comfort brought on by the repetition of it. And the imagery associated with ritual of almost any stripe–cup, sword, maze, temple, feather, censer, tallit, mask, atl atl, whatever–always catches my eye and my imagination.
My own spirituality informs my creative process quite closely. That is, the work can’t help but be about what I have and keep and see and struggle with inside. None of us can help it–I’m firmly with Jung on that score. More broadly, though, the notion of interior journey has almost exclusively been informing my work lately. I was given a very clear message this past year regarding my having let go of the undertaking of becoming. The message frightened me back into action.
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