Collection: Gary James McQueen

Gary James McQueen grew up on a council estate in a working class suburb of east London, his Mum was a taxi driver, his Dad suffered from diabetes and was prone to violent outbursts. Aged 5, Gary witnessed his father’s death from a car accident outside the family home,an event that remains imprinted on his memory today. Faced with the challenges of his everyday life, Gary needed an escape. It came in the form of his uncle the late, great fashion designer Lee Alexander McQueen. Lee would pop over armed with the latest fantastical horror films like American Werewolf in London, The Howling and Legend. The movies transported Gary to fantastical worlds and the pair watched, and then sketched out ideas for characters, stories and places. The films drove my imagination from a young age. Watching these fantasy films with Lee helped me understand how I could create my own worlds.”
Gary’s first job was working in a print and typesetting firm where he learnt about print production and taught himself to use illustration software. Needing a break and new job, he was invited to cut his teeth in fashion at Alexander McQueen’s menswear department where he worked for seven yearsand was promoted to head textile designer. “The way Lee built stories and how he combined ideas from different sources really influenced me. He taught me how to build stories in a structured way.” A love of storytelling has always been core to his creative vision, and art provides a medium from which he can harness it and his work has been exhibited at London’s V&A, New York’s Met and galleries on both sides of the Atlantic to critical acclaim. Gary is no stranger to darkness. His exotic skulls - with their blooming eye sockets - speak not just to a gifted instinct for melancholic romance but also to a history of family addiction, domestic violence and tragic early bereavement.
Lenticulars have become a favourite canvas, leveraging Gary’s traditional skills in illustration, photography and lighting with pioneering 3D art technologies. His images give an illusion of depth which draws the viewer into a dark, exotic and fantastical world which shifts and changes with an unerring and troublesome beauty. 
  “I am always on the lookout for mediums that will make my work the most immersive it can be and allow viewers to escape from reality. In the future, I hope one day I can create a whole immersive world for people to dive into.” With Gary James McQueen’s work, whilst life isn’t always beautiful, there will always be beauty to be found in the captivating worlds of his creation.