McKenzie Fisk is an artist living and working in Los Angeles, California. Fisk paints children and animals together through the lens of pop surrealism to represent a raw and unfiltered view of the childhood experience. Fisk believes that animals encounter new things with the same innocence as a child would due to not having a verbal language or any social obligations to the world around them. This is what makes animals the perfect subject to place in the same setting as her child protagonists. As her paintings help to illustrate, animals share the same sense of curiosity, joy, and silliness that children do.
Life can be stressful. Bogged down by responsibility and a seemingly unending list of daily tasks. Being happy is not a given. Life is hard, and it damages every one of us in some way as we enter adulthood. But we can be mended. The secret lies in active participation in these small, everyday moments that we have forgotten to enjoy. Ultimately that’s what Fisk’s work is all about, a reminder that those little moments are always there.
The juxtaposition of the strong, larger-than-life wild animal alongside the curious, seemingly fearless child opens many questions to the viewer. There is defined darkness here, a sense of immediate danger, but in light of that danger there is the fearlessness and gusto with which we should consciously engage in life. The use of geometric shapes along with bright and exaggerated colors lend a feeling of warped memory. The slight brokenness and pieced figures add motion, the disassembling and reassembling of themselves.
The artist adds “As kids, we are unencumbered by physical limitations and largely unclouded by preconceived thoughts about the world. Most experiences are new, we lived those moments in the present, and simple things brought us the most joy.”