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CULTURE

Alastair Mackie

by Ami Kealoha
on 13 October 2006

Touching on issues of pop culture, ethnicity and war, London-based artist Alastair Mackie, 29, is making his U.S. debut today, 13 October 2006, at Mark Moore Gallery in Los Angeles. Called "Sticks and Stones," the solo show consists of sculptural works that Mackie creates using unconventional materials and techniques.

Inspired by the role the military played in his family, Mackie says his work has to do with "the childish obsessions boys have and playing with those ideas." From a series that plays on Aztec ritualistic death masks, "Talk to me Goose" (pictured right, click for detail), made of turquoise, mother of pearl and jasper, borrows a motif from a fighter pilot helmet—in this case one from the movie Top Gun. For these pieces Mackie says he was thinking he could slip them back into a museum, questioning the role that history plays and whether or not we learn from it. With "Bi-polar," (pictured here) he similarly transformed an army helmet by laser-cutting traditional Islamic fretwork to create a delicately beautiful geometric pattern.

Other works, like "Matchstick Tree," are less politically charged but—by using a readymade material—are still a wry, paradoxical take on contemporary culture, encouraging viewers to look a little closer at the world around them.

Sticks and Stones
13 October 2006-11 November 2006
Opening: Friday, 13 October 2006, 6-8pm
Mark Moore Gallery
2525 Michigan Avenue A-1
Santa Monica, CA 90404 map
tel. +1 310 453 3031

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