October marks Long Beach Arts Month, and the Long Beach Post has partnered with the Arts Council for Long Beach to celebrate the image makers, the painters, the dancers, the designers, the musicians, and the countless other artists who make our city vibrant and cultured. Our homepage will feature an artist’s own unique interpretation of Long Beach daily, so make sure to check back every weekday to discover or rediscover a local talent.
Kenny McBride may be a newbie to Long Beach, having moved to the East Village from Merced just over half a year ago, but he gets it. After all, he already has a studio at ArtX called MCarts, he’s done murals for everyone from Netflix to the Fountain Valley branch of the Social Security Administration, and he’s brought his experience in running an arts organization to Long Beach after founding and running Shut Up N’ Smile in Merced.
“Mostly, I paint,” McBride said. “I love fantasy and surrealistic situations—basically images I wanted to paint as a kid but didn’t have the talent to produce.”
From UFOs and dinosaurs to cavemen interacting with robots, McBride often bounces between playful and outright odd (which would explain why Danny Elfman and Frank Zappa act as inspirations for him). But he doesn’t keep it in the fantastical; once a week, he does observational studies from life as well as optical illusions.
This particular piece (mostly) evades the Fantasyland McBride often drums up and harkens to the iconic buildings that make up the Long Beach skyline.
This Thursday will mark the opening of the artist’s latest exhibition, Something in the Dark, a collection of eight new works inspired by dark pallets, moods and themes that will be showcased at his studio at ArtX. He’ll also be hosting a Pumpkin Carving Social, which is BYOP(umpkin).
To view more of McBride’s work, click here.
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