Mackenzie Thorpe is an artist whose unique and distinctive work is exhibited and collected in galleries across the world, from Japan to Australia; the U.S.A. to New Zealand, as well as Europe and the UK. He is credited with changing the face of commercial art publishing in the U.K., breaking away from traditional imagery and depictions to produce a new, challenging and varied portfolio of art works. Currently Mackenzie is based in Brighton, with new and exciting works released and exhibited on an international scale.
Through his work he has managed to reach out and connect with people from all walks of life irrespective of age, gender, social class, or nationality and his art hangs in individual and corporate collections. He has established a presence with collectors from the world of sport, music, film, politics and royalty.
His journey towards becoming an international artist exhibiting worldwide is by anyone’s standards compelling. With roots in the North East of England, Mackenzie has pushed through circumstance and social barriers to achieve an impressive and accomplished artistic career. Suffering from severe dyslexia, school did not provide a thriving environment for the young Mackenzie. However, the industrial environment and people of his upbringing remain a feature and inspiration within much of his work.
Following study at his local college of art, Mackenzie went on to study at Byam Shaw School of Art, London. During this time he worked for a while for a local authority teaching arts and crafts, in after school clubs. 1989 was a significant year for the now qualified Mackenzie. Returning to Richmond, North Yorkshire, Mackenzie and his wife opened an art supply shop from which Mackenzie began selling his own work. His challenging and different depictions of square sheep surrounded by vast panoramic sky’s, giraffes, screaming heads, northern industrial scenes, man at the edge of life challenged many. Yet, despite initial reservations, the response, regard and considerable interest his work inspired led to joining with art publishers based in the U.S. This took his work to an international level, gaining more and more attention not only in the U.K. but America. The commercial presence of his work also gained momentum, with imagery appearing throughout the UK.
Mackenzie now stands as an independent publisher of his own works after breaking away from his American publishers in 2009. During 2010 Mackenzie achieved his second honorary degree from Teesside University, accepting a Doctor of Arts degree. He was first awarded an honorary Master of Arts in 2000. In 2012, Mackenzie was commissioned to produce a piece for HRH Queen Elizabeth II for the 2012 Diamond Jubilee which now stands as part of the Royal Collection.